Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Texas DA's Killing Puts Other Prosecutors on Alert

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Texas DA's Killing Puts Other Prosecutors on Alert

Article excerpt

KAUFMAN, Texas Deputies escorted some Kaufman County employees into the courthouse Monday, two days after the district attorney and his wife were found shot to death in their home in an attack that stirred fears that other public employees could be targeted by assassins.

Law enforcement officers were seen patrolling one side of the courthouse, while others walked around inside.

Authorities have said little about the investigation into the deaths of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, whose bodies were found Saturday.

The slayings raised concerns about the safety of public employees across the state, coming just two months after Kaufman County Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse was killed in a parking lot near the courthouse.

Deputies were called to the McLelland home by relatives and friends who had been unable to reach the pair, according to a search warrant affidavit.

When they arrived, investigators found the two had been shot multiple times.

Authorities have not discussed a motive.

"I don't want to walk around in fear every day ... but on the other hand, two months ago, we wouldn't be having this conversation," County Judge Bruce Wood, the county's top administrator, said Monday at a news conference.

The killings also came less than two weeks after Colorado's prison chief was fatally shot at his front door, apparently by an ex- convict.

Law enforcement agencies throughout Texas were on high alert, and steps were being taken to better protect other district attorneys and their staffs.

In Harris County, which includes Houston, District Attorney Mike Anderson said he accepted the sheriff's offer of 24-hour security for him and his family. Anderson said he also would take precautions at his office, the largest of its kind in Texas, with more than 270 prosecutors.

"I think district attorneys across Texas are still in a state of shock," Anderson said.

McLelland, 63, was the 13th prosecutor killed in the U.S. since the National Association of District Attorneys began keeping count in the 1960s.

Kaufman County Sheriff David Byrnes would not give details Sunday of how the killings unfolded and said there was nothing to indicate for certain whether the recent slayings were connected to Hasse's. …

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