Suspect in Texas DA Deaths: Disgraced Justice of Peace
Eric Williams arrested, charged with making terroristic threats
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Apr 15, 2013 9:03 AM CDT
This photo provided by the Kaufman County Sheriff's Office shows Eric Williams.   (AP Photo/Kaufman County Sheriff's Office)

(Newser) – Eric Williams was an officer in the Texas Guard, a reserve Kaufman County deputy, and was elected justice of the peace in 2010—now, the Daily Beast reports, he's the prime suspect in the Texas prosecutor murders. District Attorney Mike McLelland, who was murdered along with his wife, and first victim Assistant DA Mark Hasse both prosecuted Williams when he was arrested for stealing computer equipment from the county in 2011. Williams, known for riding to work and around town on a Segway, was ultimately sentenced to two years of probation in April of last year (he also lost his law license, his bench, and his military commission, according to his lawyer). During the sentencing phase of the trial, witnesses testified about threats Williams had made in the past, including one threat to kill an attorney and his family. Williams was mentioned as a possible suspect, but not named, earlier this month; now he's been arrested and charged with making terroristic threats (authorities say they linked him to an anonymous threatening email to county officials sent in the wake of McLelland's death).

But the Dallas Morning News reports he's expected to be charged with the murders as soon as tomorrow. Williams had been questioned on several occasions and submitted to gunpowder residue tests that reportedly came back negative. Since then, investigators have had him under surveillance and have searched his home, his mother-in-law's home, and a storage space—where they found 20 weapons, including the type used in the murders, as well as a Ford Crown Victoria that bears resemblance to a vehicle spotted in McLelland's neighborhood the day he was killed. The Wall Street Journal notes that Williams had considered McLelland a political enemy since 2006, long before his theft trial.

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Showing 3 of 15 comments
CopTurnedJournalist
Apr 15, 2013 10:25 PM CDT
If this gentleman is responsible for these murders, I hope he spends the rest of his life being transferred from prison to prison, unable to stay anywhere safely as fellow inmates learn that he is a former cop. If he is not gulty, I hope (but doubt) that he will be able to get his life and reputation back.
orlandojonny
Apr 15, 2013 2:13 PM CDT
So much for the pro nazi and far right theory...notice the media thinks everyone will forget their political pandering just 1 week ago. This was obviously personal and had nothing to do with politics
viva_yo
Apr 15, 2013 1:25 PM CDT
A sociopath but not a very smart one. He's probably been getting by with sheer chutzpah by the looks of it.