The awful murders of Texas prosecutors and the wife of one of them:
On Tuesday, the Kaufman County district attorney’s office reopened for business on the second floor of the local courthouse, three days after the county’s top prosecutor, Mike McLelland, 63, and his wife, Cynthia, 65, were found shot to death in their home in Forney. The shootings came after another prosecutor, Mark E. Hasse, 57, was shot and killed on Jan. 31 in an employee parking lot in a still-unsolved case that one law enforcement official described as “cold.”
Investigators have been interviewing members of the prison gang known as the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas, but officials said that they have found no evidence linking the killings to the gang and that they were viewing its potential involvement as one of a number of possibilities. They have also talked to a former justice of the peace who was sentenced last April to two years’ probation and fined $2,500 for stealing computer monitors from a county office in 2011. Mr. McLelland and Mr. Hasse were both involved in that case.
Mr. Hasse and Mr. McLelland were killed after the state’s top law enforcement agency, the Department of Public Safety, issued a bulletin in December warning officials that the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas was planning to retaliate against law enforcement personnel involved in an investigation that struck a heavy blow to its leadership. Their deaths came less than a year after Mr. McLelland’s office prosecuted a case that led to a member of the gang, James Patrick Crawford, receiving two life sentences for his role in a 2011 shooting and kidnapping. Mr. Hasse was shot the day that two other members of the gang pleaded guilty to racketeering charges in Houston.
The investigation that led to the guilty pleas and prompted the law enforcement bulletin involved a multiagency task force that included Kaufman County prosecutors and three other district attorneys’ offices. The task force helped secure an indictment against nearly three dozen senior leaders and other members of the gang in federal court in Houston in October.
One of the federal prosecutors in Houston handling the case, Jay Hileman, the assistant United States attorney, is withdrawing because of security concerns, according to defense lawyers who were notified via e-mail of his decision.
I have no knowledge about the three killings or whether they have anything to do with the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas.
But when I was reading about them I wondered what the reaction of the pro-Second-Amendment people would be to this case if it, indeed, was an attempt to terrorize all prosecutors in Texas.
After all, the argument ist that the right to bear arms is a necessary tool against government tyranny. But such tyranny might depend on the eye of the beholder. One woman's freedom fighter is another woman's terrorist kinda thing.