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Weapons Displayed During Punishment Phase Of Kaufman Co. Trial

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ROCKWALL (CBS 11 NEWS) - In the center of the courtroom, prosecutors displayed 64 weapons and ammunition they seized from Eric Williams' storage unit after Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland, his wife Cynthia, and his top assistant Mark Hasse were murdered.

But during day two of the punishment phase of Williams' capital murder trial, his lead attorney, Matthew Seymour, fought to keep the jury from seeing the massive display. "Judge, it's fundamentally unfair. This is not some type of drug raid we've seen in Mexico City. I think it clearly is designed for one purpose and one purpose only, to inflame the jury's sentiments."

But the judge disagreed saying it was relevant during this phase of the trial.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives special agent Matthew Johnson showed jurors every weapon and described them. Among the weapons displayed -- the two guns investigators say Williams used to murder Kaufman County prosecutor Mark Hasse.

A dive team recovered the weapons from murky Lake Tawakoni.

Besides guns, the agent showed a sword and a machete found in Williams' storage shed.

Details and evidence about the Hasse murder on January 31, 2013 have been a main focus during the punishment phase of the trial, even though Williams hasn't been prosecuted for Hasse's murder yet.

Last Thursday, Williams was convicted for murdering the McLellands in their home March 30, 2013.

During their second day of the punishment phase, prosecutors also played a secret interview investigators did with Williams two days before they searched his storage shed.

An investigator asked Williams, "Hey, just curious, how many guns did you used to own?"
Williams replied, "About 16." The investigator asked, "You sold 15 of them?" Williams responded, "If I waited until December, I would have made more money."

At that point, Williams was already a convicted felon after being found guilty of stealing county computer equipment in 2012.

Investigators asked Williams if he would answer their questions about the murders. Williams answered, "Here's what I think. There's nothing that I can tell anybody that you're going to put on the big black board and put the "X" on the case."

One week after the interview, authorities arrested and charged Williams with murdering Hasse and the McLellands.

Prosecutors also provided jurors with more details about Williams' conviction of stealing county computers. They showed photos taken inside Williams' pickup in May, 2011 showing assault rifles and shotguns attached to the roof inside.

CBS 11 News has learned after hearing this, Hasse became concerned for his safety, and started carrying a gun. Prosecutors say because of the theft case, Williams sought revenge and plotted to murder the McLellands and Hasse.

On Wednesday, prosecutors say they will wrap up their case. It's unclear if Williams' estranged wife Kim, who's also charged with the murders, will testify against him.

Williams' lawyers will then have a chance to put on their case to convince the jury they should not sentence Williams to death.

Follow @cbs11jack and @lpphillips for courtroom updates

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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