Mike McLelland is second prosecutor for Texas' Kaufman county to be killed

PUBLISHED : Monday, 01 April, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 01 April, 2013, 4:34am


A US district attorney and his wife have been found dead at their home in the second murder of a prosecutor in the same office in less than two months, sparking fears of a larger plot.

In January, Kaufman county assistant district attorney Mark Hasse, 57, was gunned down outside a courthouse in a small Texan town. He had reportedly been investigating the white supremacist Aryan Brotherhood.

On Saturday, Kaufman district attorney Mike McLelland and his wife Cynthia Woodward McLelland were also shot dead.

"It is a shock," Kaufman police chief Chris Aulbaugh told The Dallas Morning News. "It was a shock with Mark Hasse, and now you can just imagine the double shock."

"Until we know what happened, I really can't confirm that it's related, but you always have to assume until it's proven otherwise," Aulbaugh added.

The report said authorities were providing security at the homes of others who feared they could also be targeted.

A statewide bulletin in December said the Aryan Brotherhood organised crime syndicate was "actively planning retaliation against law enforcement officials", the newspaper said.

Authorities were also investigating whether Hasse's murder was linked to the fatal shooting of a Colorado prison chief on March 19. The suspect in that shooting was Evan Spencer Ebel, 28, a white supremacist with a criminal history spanning a decade who was shot dead after a stand-off with sheriff's deputies. However, authorities had not found evidence tying Ebel to Hasse's murder, the newspaper reported.

Sam Rosander, who lives in the same area of Kaufman as the McLellands, said sheriff's deputies were parked in the district attorney's driveway for about a month after Hasse was killed.

Aulbaugh said recently that the FBI was checking whether Hasse's murder could be related to the killing of Colorado Department of Corrections head Tom Clements, who was gunned down after answering the doorbell at his home.

Ebel, a former Colorado inmate who authorities believe killed Clements and a pizza deliveryman two days earlier, was killed in a March 21 shoot-out with Texas deputies about 160 kilometers from Kaufman.