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Texas district attorney and wife found slain

March 30, 2013|By Molly Hennessy-Fiske
  • In January, Mike McLelland, district attorney of Kaufman County, meets with reporters to talk about the shooting death of Assistant Dist. Atty. Mark Hasse. At far right is David Byrnes, Kaufman County sheriff. McLelland and his wife were found dead on Saturday, March 30.
In January, Mike McLelland, district attorney of Kaufman County, meets… (David Woo / Associated Press )

HOUSTON -- A North Texas district attorney was found slain with his wife this weekend, months after an assistant district attorney who worked for him was killed outside the local courthouse.

Kaufman County Dist. Atty. Mike McLelland, 63, and his wife, Cynthia, 65, were found dead Saturday in Forney, about 25 miles east of Dallas, Kaufman County Sheriff's spokesman Lt. Justin Lewis told the Los Angeles Times.

“We’re in the preliminary stages of the investigation,” Lewis said.

He could not say how the two were killed, where they were found or whether investigators had linked their deaths to the Jan. 31 killing of Kaufman County Assistant Dist. Atty. Mark Hasse, 57. The couple lived in Forney.

The Dallas Medical Examiner will be handling the cases, Lewis said, but he wasn't sure if the bodies had been transferred yet for autopsy late Saturday.

Kaufman Police Chief Chris Aulbaugh told the Dallas Morning News that the couple were found fatally shot at their home. Aulbaugh could not be reached by phone late Saturday.

“It is a shock,” Aulbaugh told the Dallas Morning News. “It was a shock with Mark Hasse, and now you can just imagine the double shock and until we know what happened, I really can't confirm that it's related, but you always have to assume until it's proven otherwise.”

He said the Texas Rangers were helping with the investigation at the McLellands’ home.

Aulbaugh said that because they "have to treat it as related [to the Hasse investigation], we'll be working side by side again,” the Dallas Morning News reported.

Last week, officials said they were still searching for Hasse's attackers.

Hasse was shot the same day U.S. Department of Justice officials publicly thanked him for his help in prosecuting members of the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas.

Kaufman County Sheriff David Byrnes said at the time that investigators believed Hasse was the sole target of the attack and that "there’s no vendetta against the county."

At Hasse's Feb. 9 funeral, McLelland vowed to find Hasse's killer, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

"He knows and I know there will be a reckoning," McLelland said.

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molly.hennessy-fiske@latimes.com

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