Texas Judge's Wife Admits 'Jewish County' Slayings

Killed Kaufman County Prosecutors Over Theft Claim

By Reuters

Published April 17, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

The wife of a former Texas justice of the peace confessed to her involvement with the fatal shootings of a district attorney, his wife and another prosecutor and fingered her husband as the triggerman, an arrest warrant released on Wednesday showed.

Kaufman County is named after David Spangler Kaufman, the state’s first Jewish lawmaker.
Kaufman County is named after David Spangler Kaufman, the state’s first Jewish lawmaker.

The two slain prosecutors helped convict her husband of stealing computer monitors from public buildings, which cost him his job, records show.

Kim Williams, 46, is being held in the Kaufman County Jail on a $10 million bond on capital murder charges, according to the warrant released by the sheriff’s office in Kaufman County, near Dallas.

The killings of the Texas prosecutors raised concerns about U.S. law enforcement officials being targeted for assassination as suspicion initially fell on the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas, a white supremacist prison gang that had threatened retaliation against prosecutors. At about the same time, a white supremacist parolee was also suspected of killing Colorado’s prisons chief.

Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia, were found shot to death on March 30 at their home two months after Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse was gunned down execution-style near the county courthouse.

Eric Williams, the husband of Kim Williams, was charged over the weekend on suspicion of threatening violence. Williams denied involvement in the attacks to several media outlets last week, and has not been charged in the killings.

LINKS TO PROSECUTORS

Kaufman County employees and law enforcement officials told investigators that both prosecutors believed Williams blamed them for his removal from office and that both McLelland and Hasse carried handguns because they thought he was a threat to their safety, the warrant said.

Local criminal defense attorney Eric Smenner, who knew both prosecutors, told Reuters on Sunday that he had told the FBI after Hasse’s death that Williams would be a prime suspect “because he’d been threatening people.” Smenner is a former Dallas County prosecutor and Irving police officer.

Jenny Parks, a bankruptcy attorney from Crandall, Texas, and a friend of the couple who worked with Eric Williams for 20 years, said: “I cannot believe that either one of these people would be capable of murder.”

The home of Eric Williams had been searched as part of the probe into the slayings. He was arrested last week on suspicion of threatening violence. Electronic threats made to officials investigating the McLellands’ deaths were traced to his home computer.

“I don’t think anyone in this community wanted to believe someone here was behind it,” said Cathy Spurlock, who owns a quilt shop across from the county courthouse. “It’s bittersweet, but I’m just so grateful that the families can have some closure.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Move over Dr. Ruth — there’s a (not-so) new sassy Jewish sex-therapist in town. Her name is Shirley Zussman — and just turned 100 years old.
  • From kosher wine to Ecstasy, presenting some of our best bootlegs:
  • Sara Kramer is not the first New Yorker to feel the alluring pull of the West Coast — but she might be the first heading there with Turkish Urfa pepper and za’atar in her suitcase.
  • About 1 in 40 American Jews will get pancreatic cancer (Ruth Bader Ginsberg is one of the few survivors).
  • At which grade level should classroom discussions include topics like the death of civilians kidnapping of young Israelis and sirens warning of incoming rockets?
  • Wanted: Met Council CEO.
  • “Look, on the one hand, I understand him,” says Rivka Ben-Pazi, a niece of Elchanan Hameiri, the boy that Henk Zanoli saved. “He had a family tragedy.” But on the other hand, she said, “I think he was wrong.” What do you think?
  • How about a side of Hitler with your spaghetti?
  • Why "Be fruitful and multiply" isn't as simple as it seems:
  • William Schabas may be the least of Israel's problems.
  • You've heard of the #IceBucketChallenge, but Forward publisher Sam Norich has something better: a #SoupBucketChallenge (complete with matzo balls!) Jon Stewart, Sarah Silverman & David Remnick, you have 24 hours!
  • Did Hamas just take credit for kidnapping the three Israeli teens?
  • "We know what it means to be in the headlines. We know what it feels like when the world sits idly by and watches the news from the luxury of their living room couches. We know the pain of silence. We know the agony of inaction."
  • When YA romance becomes "Hasidsploitation":
  • "I am wrapping up the summer with a beach vacation with my non-Jewish in-laws. They’re good people and real leftists who try to live the values they preach. This was a quality I admired, until the latest war in Gaza. Now they are adamant that American Jews need to take more responsibility for the deaths in Gaza. They are educated people who understand the political complexity, but I don’t think they get the emotional complexity of being an American Jew who is capable of criticizing Israel but still feels a deep connection to it. How can I get this across to them?"
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.