Entries in District Attorney (2)


Texas DA, Wife Found Shot to Death in Their Home

Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock(DALLAS) -- The Kaufman County, Texas, district attorney and his wife were found shot dead inside their home on Saturday, police said, nearly two months to the day that the county assistant district attorney was murdered in the county courthouse parking lot.

Police would say nothing more than that Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife Cynthia were found shot in their home in Forney, but sources told ABC affiliate WFAA-TV in Dallas that their front door was reportedly kicked in.

Investigators from the FBI, the Texas Rangers, the Department of Public Safety and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms were all on scene and a wide roadblock was set up around the crime scene in the small rural town.

The task force investigating the murder of Kaufman County Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse was also at McLellands’ home.  Hasse was gunned down execution-style outside of the Kaufman County Courthouse on Thursday, Jan. 31, just before 9 a.m. by one or two unknown assailants as he walked from his car to the courthouse in Kaufman, southeast of Dallas.

The assailants, who may have been masked and dressed in black, fled the scene in a silver four-door sedan.

Hasse, 57, had been a longtime felony prosecutor for the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office, according to WFAA-TV. He headed the organized crime unit in Dallas in the 1980s. He started work in Kaufman County three years ago.

McLelland had vowed to hunt down Hasse’s killer.

“He knows and I know there will be a reckoning,” McClelland said at Hasse’s memorial service, WFAA reported. “Too many people are focusing on that. That’s not going to be a problem.”

Authorities have also been trying to determine whether Hasse’s killing was related to the murder of Tom Clements, Colorado’s prison director, last month.

The Colorado man implicated in Clements’ murder, Evan Ebel, was killed in a shootout with police in Texas two days after the killing. He was pulled over by police in Texas and fired at deputies, launching a high- speed chase and shootout that ended when he was fatally struck by police gunfire.

Ballistics testing showed that the gun found on Ebel in the Texas shooting was the same one that was used to kill Clements. Police are trying to determine whether there are any other suspects who acted with Ebel in the murder.

Ebel is also a suspect in the murder of a pizza delivery man last Sunday, March 17, in Denver.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Topeka DA Will Prosecute Domestic Violence After All

Hemera Technologies/Thinkstock(TOPEKA, Kan.) -- Domestic violence crimes will be prosecuted in Topeka, Kan., after the district attorney reversed his earlier stance and said Wednesday he would again begin prosecutions.

District attorney Chad Taylor released a statement Wednesday saying that despite budget cuts to his department, his office would make do with less in order to continue prosecuting the crimes.

Shawnee County and the county seat, Topeka, had become mired in national controversy for a budget fight over which arm of government should pay for prosecuting the crimes.

Topeka, which has a municipal court that has traditionally handled all misdemeanors except for domestic violence, said it would not be able to absorb the costs of providing the support staff required for victims, criminals and families of domestic violence.

The city council voted Tuesday to de-criminalize domestic violence in order to put the burden on the county to fund the prosecutions.

The vote came after Taylor announced last month that he would stop prosecuting misdemeanor domestic violence incidents because of a 10 percent cut to his budget. By refusing to prosecute the crimes, Taylor hoped to force the city of Topeka to prosecute them instead. Tuesday's vote proved otherwise.

The DA's office has prosecuted the crimes for more than 10 years, according to Topeka Mayor Bill Bunten, and Topeka shouldn't be forced to absorb those costs.

The DA would need to continue prosecuting misdemeanor domestic violence offenses for the five towns in the county that do not have municipal courts, and so would need to employ the support staff either way. Additionally, Bunten noted, any convictions could be appealed to the county level, which would make the municipal court redundant.

Taylor, whose office will operate with $350,000 less in 2012 than it did in 2011, said he relented after learning of Topeka's decision.

"I am deeply saddened by the City of Topeka's unfortunate decision to place resources and political grandstanding before its constituents' safety," Taylor wrote in his statement Wednesday. "Public safety is the core responsibility of government and a responsibility I am deeply committed to upholding. Therefore, effective immediately my office will commence the review and filing of misdemeanors decriminalized by the City of Topeka."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio