Authorities charged Eric Williams with capital murder Thursday in the case of two slain prosecutors for Kaufman County, Texas. His wife is also charged, and officials say the motive was revenge.
Former Kaufman County justice of the peace Eric Williams is being held on a $23 million bond, and his wife, Kim Williams, is being held on a $10 million bond in Kaufman County Jail, Sheriff David Byrnes told reporters at a news conference.
Mrs. Williams, who was arrested Wednesday, told police that she drove a getaway car for her husband when he shot Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse outside the courthouse on Jan. 31, Sheriff Byrnes said. She also admitted to being in the car when her husband shot District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia McLelland, in their home on March 30, he said.
“It was basically a collaborative effort between Eric Williams and his wife,” Sheriff Byrnes said. He said he does not believe there are “any other major actors in the case.”
Mr. Williams was arrested Saturday on a “terrorist threats” charge. He is alleged to have sent an anonymous e-mail from his personal computer to local law enforcement a day after the McLellands’ murders, threatening more attacks. Authorities added the capital murder charges Thursday in light of his wife’s confession, CNN reported.
“The murder of a public official, such as a judge, a prosecutor, or a law enforcement officer, is an assault on all the people of the state, because it's an attack of the rule of law,” Kirby Dendy, chief of the Texas Rangers, said at the press conference.
Motives for the killings, the sheriff said, can be traced to Mr. William’s legal problems in 2012, when he was found guilty of theft. Williams lost his license to practice law and his position as justice of the peace. Mr. McLelland and Mr. Hasse prosecuted the case.