Ex-Justice of the Peace gets death in killing of DA's wife

ROCKWALL, Texas - A former justice of the peace in North Texas was sentenced to death Wednesday for killing a district attorney's wife in what prosecutors described as a revenge plot that left three people dead.

Eric Williams was convicted Dec. 4 of capital murder in the 2013 death of Cynthia McLelland, who was slain along with her husband, Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland, in their home east of Dallas.

Williams has been charged, but not tried, in the deaths of Mike McLelland and prosecutor Mark Hasse.

The 47-year-old Williams lost his job and law license after McLelland and Hasse prosecuted him for theft and burglary.

Prosecutors say that conviction pushed Williams over the edge. During his trial, they presented evidence that he paid a friend to rent a storage unit where he kept more than 30 guns, police tactical gear and a getaway car.

Authorities say a masked Williams gunned down Hasse in January 2013 outside a courthouse building in broad daylight.

Prosecutors say Hasse pleaded and yelled "I'm sorry" before he was repeatedly shot.

Two months later, Williams stormed into the McLellands' rural home and shot both the district attorney and his wife more than a dozen times each, according to evidence at his trial.

Prosecutor Bill Wirskye called Eric Williams a "ruthless killing machine."

Williams' wife, Kim, is accused of helping him carry out the slayings and testified before closing arguments Tuesday that she drove the getaway car in Hasse's death and helped her husband dispose of weapons used in the shooting of the McClellands.

She said Eric Williams had a hit list that included former state District Judge Glen Ashworth and Kaufman County District Attorney Erleigh Norville Wiley.