Texas Eyes Disgraced Official in DA Killings

Plus: Mike McLelland was shot at 20 times

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 3, 2013 6:20 AM CDT | Updated Apr 3, 2013 7:52 AM CDT

(Newser) – Investigators are zeroing in on a former official as they investigate the deaths of two Texas prosecutors. The fired local official had threatened victims Mike McLelland and Mark Hasse, insiders tell the Los Angeles Times. The unnamed person of interest was convicted two years ago of stealing public property and placed on probation; during the case, he threatened revenge on the prosecutors and said he'd burn down a lawyer's house, the official sources say. Investigators found guns at the fired official's house, including an assault rifle and survivalist materials.

His lawyer says he "strenuously" denies having issued any threats. Meanwhile, more details about McLelland's killing are emerging: The DA was fired at 20 times, though it's not clear how many bullets hit him, NBC News reports, per a federal source. His wife was shot once, the source says. That seems to conflict with an affidavit that earlier said both victims were shot multiple times. Meanwhile yesterday, a US prosecutor stepped down from a case against the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas, which is also suspected in the murders of McLelland and Hasse.

Kaufman County Sheriff David Byrnes, center, walks away after a news conference in Kaufman, Texas, on Sunday March 31, 2013.   (AP Photo/Mike Fuentes)
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