Texas DA Killed: Security Tightened At Kaufman County Courthouse After Mike McClelland, Wife Murdered

Mike McClelland
Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McClelland Reuters

Security has been beefed up at the Kaufman County courthouse in Texas on Monday after District Attorney Mike McClelland and his wife were found shot and killed Saturday at their home in Forney, Texas.

No suspects have been identified in the deaths of McClelland, 63, and his wife, Cynthia, 65, but investigators are looking into the possibility that the murders are connected to the fatal shooting in late January of Kaufman County Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse.

"It would seem to me this is not just a random act -- there has to be some connection," Kaufman County Judge Bruce Wood told the Los Angeles Times.

That sentiment was shared by Kaufman Mayor William Fortner.

"That's the logical conclusion, and I don't have any information that directs me to think that's the case, but that's what you would assume under the circumstances, since they targeted two people from our prosecutors,” Fortner told CNN.

But Kaufman County Sheriff David Byrnes said so far there was no evidence linking the murders.

“I can’t say that,” Byrnes said. “No, we have nothing indicating that for sure.”

There have been no arrests in the murder of Hasse, who was killed Jan. 31 outside the courthouse in broad daylight by two masked gunmen.

Hasse’s killing came the day the assistant district attorney was commended for helping to successfully prosecute members of the white supremacist prison gang the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas.

After Hasse’s murder, McClelland had strong words for the people responsible for murdering his deputy, calling them “scum.”

“We’re going to find you, we’re going to pull you out of whatever hole you’re in and we’re going to bring you back and let the people of Kaufman County prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law,” he said.

Whether or not those words, or the prosecutions of the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas, led to McClelland being targeted is unclear, but Wood exercised caution in reacting to the district attorney’s murder.

"I don't want to say anything that would put anyone in harm's way. … To say if this was retribution for something he said or did -- I just don't know," he told the Times. "I hope they stop. They're dealing with real people, real lives."

Wood told CNN that McClelland and Hasse worked closely on convicting the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas members.

The murders of McClelland and his wife shook Kaufman County, with court staff being escorted to work under armed guard. Judges were also with bailiffs in and out of the courthouse as security was tightened in the wake of the killings.

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