Eric Williams Charged With Murder of Texas District Attorneys

As expected, former justice of the peace Eric Williams has been charged with capital murder for killing three people in Kaufman County, Texas, earlier this year.

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As expected, former justice of the peace Eric Williams has been charged with capital murder for killing three people in Kaufman County, Texas, earlier this year. Yesterday, Williams's wife, Kim, was arrested and confessed to taking part in the crime, implicating both herself and her husband in the murder of Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse, his boss, District Attorney Mike McLelland, and McLelland's wife, Cynthia.

Police have still not released all the details about how the murders took place or who did the actual killing, but new details about the Williams's life, suggest a possible motive for both members of the couple. Eric Williams was an immediate suspect in the shooting because both Hasse and McLelland had worked on the theft prosecution that cost Williams his job last fall. After he was fired, the couple also lost their health insurance, which was a major blow for Kim Williams, who reportedly suffers from a host of health problems, including "rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome and Sjogren’s syndrome." Neighbors reported that the 46-year-old woman rarely left the house or communicated with anyone and had told the Dallas Morning News in previous interviews that the trial had a rough impact on both their lives.

While it seems unlikely that she would have been physically able to commit the crimes, given her health condition, she may have encouraged or participated in them in some way. (She did tell police that her husband was the one who actually shot the three victims.) Whether Eric Williams will now confess as well, or his wife will testify against him to avoid the death penalty remains to be seen.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.