US Attorney removes himself from Aryan Brotherhood investigation
A Houston federal prosecutor is keeping his distance from a notorious prison gang in the wake of three unsolved murders in north Texas. Attorney Jay Hilerman has withdrawn from a case against the Aryan Brotherhood. Sources say he has concerns about his security in the wake of the weekend killings in Kaufman County. There's word that investigators are looking into the white supremacist gang for a possible link to the murders.
"Jay's a good lawyer and a good prosecutor, and I'm sure that his reason to step down is very well grounded, because he's not the type of guy to walk away from something." KTRH Legal Analyst Chris Tritico says that if the withdrawal was for security reasons it may not have been a good idea to release it to the media.
South Texas College of Law Professor Gerald Treece says district attorneys generally don't admit to be doing anything out of fear.
"It's interesting to talk about, but until we hear from the United States Department of Justice or from the US Attorney for the Southern District, I wouldn't put any credence in the story until that time."
The US Attorney's office had no comment on the matter.
Meanwhile, a former elected official is questioned in the recent murders of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife Cynthia. Former Justice of the Peace Eric Williams lost his job after a 2012 conviction on theft charges. He was prosecuted by murdered Assistant DA Mark Hasse.
"They called me Saturday evening. I don't recall the exact time, but that was the first time I was notified that anything had happened."
Williams tells our TV partner KPRC Local-2 he voluntarily surrendered his cell phone and underwent gunshot residue tests as part of his questioning. He was ordered to serve probation for his crime but his case is currently on appeal.