Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Suspect's wife confesses role in killing prosecutors

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KAUFMAN, Texas -- In a surprising twist, the wife of a jailed former justice of the peace was charged Wednesday with capital murder after, authorities say, she confessed to helping her husband kill two North Texas prosecutors who aggressively secured a theft conviction against him.

The overnight arrest and charge against Kim Lene Williams is the latest turn in an investigation that had recently focused on Eric Williams after authorities searched his home and a nearby storage facility stocked with guns. An arrest affidavit alleges she told investigators Tuesday her husband shot and killed Kaufman County assistant prosecutor Mark Hasse in January and District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife last month.

The affidavit does not specify what role she played in the killings. Investigators said they would not release further details until briefing the victims' families. Eric Williams, 46, who has not been charged in the slayings, remained jailed on a $3-million bond Wednesday on a charge of making a terroristic threat. Kim Williams, 46, was being held on a $10-million bond.

"I don't think anyone could have written a novel that would play out like this," said Kaufman County Judge Bruce Wood. He said county employees were relieved the case was moving forward but also were shocked by the recent developments.

McLelland and Hasse prosecuted Eric Williams last year for theft of three computer monitors from a county building. Williams was convicted, sentenced to probation and lost his law licence and his elected position as justice of the peace -- a judge who handles mostly administrative duties.

McLelland and his wife, Cynthia, were found dead March 30 in their home, two months after Hasse was gunned down near the county courthouse. Wood said the DA told him after Hasse was killed he believed Eric Williams was behind the attack but acknowledged he had little evidence to support his suspicion.

While Eric Williams was well-known in town as a family lawyer and later as a justice of the peace, county officials and neighbours said Kim Williams was rarely seen around Kaufman.

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 18, 2013 $sourceSection0

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