The district attorney in Kaufman County and his wife were shot and killed
Kaufman County has lost two prosecutors in the last two months. This past weekend District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife Cynthia were shot by a .223 AR-15-style rifle, he multiple times and she once. Their bodies were discovered on Saturday evening when a sheriff’s deputy went to their house and found the door open. Officials have not specified a time of death, but Melissa Kutler of Fox affiliate KDFW, reporting from the scene, told KTRH she had learned from investigators, “they may have been murdered 24 hours before their bodies were discovered.”
Almost two months to the day earlier, January 31, McLelland’s associate and right hand, Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse was gunned down in broad daylight steps from the county courthouse. After that, McLelland had told the Associated Press, he always carried a gun, even when walking the dog. He had said he always exercised extreme caution when opening the front door to his house.
Kaufman County Sheriff David Byrnes said there is no evidence to connect the two incidents, but demonstrated at Sunday afternoon’s press conference that he holds all details very close to his vest. But even the mayor of Forney, the rural town the McLellands lived in, could not resist speculation of a connection between the murder of two prosecutors in a small town. “It appears,” Darren Rozell told the Associated Press, “this was not a random act.”
But the community finds itself grieving again, so soon. “Everyone knows everyone in that community,” reporter Emily Lopez of KDFW told KTRH while she was waiting for a press conference to start. “There’s a dry cleaning business right across the street from the courthouse and that’s where all the attorneys take their suits and their work clothes. Everyone knows everyone. They know Mark Hasse and they know Mike McLelland.”
They knew, and now feel a little less secure.