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Man arrested in Texas prosecutor shooting probe

April 13, 2013|By Molly Hennessy-Fiske

HOUSTON -- A former North Texas justice of the peace was in jail Saturday after his home was searched in connection with the shooting death investigations of two local prosecutors.

Eric Williams, 46, was arrested late Friday on a terroristic threat charge and was being held at Kaufman County Jail, effectively without bond since his $1-million bond was listed as "insufficient," according to sheriff's records. He was arraigned early Saturday.

No court date was listed. Jail staff referred questions to the sheriff's office.

Kaufman County Sheriff's Lt. Justin Lewis did not return calls and email Saturday.

Katherine Chaumont, a spokeswoman for the FBI in Dallas, said the charges were local and that she did not have additional information.

A spokesman for Williams and his attorney said they did not have any comment Saturday.

Williams was convicted last year of stealing county equipment in a case prosecuted by slain Kaufman County Dist. Atty. Mike McLelland and Assistant Dist. Atty. Mark Hasse. Williams is appealing the conviction.

McLelland, 63, was found shot to death at his home near Forney, Texas, about 20 miles east of Dallas, on March 30 along with his wife Cynthia, 65. Hasse, 57, was shot and killed on his way to work outside the county courthouse Jan. 31 about 30 miles southeast of Dallas.

Williams has been questioned by authorities in connection with the shootings, gave his cellphone to investigators and submitted to gunpowder residue tests, his attorney has told The Times.

On Friday, investigators searched the homes of Williams and his in-laws in Kaufman, blocking the road to Williams' home.

Lewis told The Times on Friday that the search was related to the shooting investigation, but that investigators had not made any arrests or named suspects.

Earlier this month, investigators charged three other men with making threats against Kaufman officials -- on a tip line, mail and Facebook -- but they have not said any of those men were suspects, either.

molly.hennessy-fiske@latimes.com

Twitter: @mollyhf


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