Kaufman County killer Eric Williams sentenced to death

A former justice of the peace in North Texas was sentenced to death Wednesday for killing a district attorney's wife in what prosecutors described as a revenge plot that left three people dead.

Eric Williams was convicted Dec. 4 of capital murder in the 2013 death of Cynthia McLelland, who was slain along with her husband, Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland, in their home east of Dallas.

"At the end of the day you murdered a little old lady and you would have murdered two other innocent people if you had the opportunity," said Judge Mike Snipes after the verdict was announced. "That put you right there with Charles Manson and Jeffrey Dahmer."

Williams has been charged, but not tried, in the deaths of Mike McLelland and prosecutor Mark Hasse.

The 47-year-old Williams lost his job and law license after McLelland and Hasse prosecuted him for theft and burglary.

Prosecutors said that conviction pushed Williams over the edge. During his trial, they presented evidence that he paid a friend to rent a storage unit where he kept more than 30 guns, police tactical gear and a getaway car.

Family members of the victims were blunt with Williams during victim impact statements.

"Pretty much the only thing I have to say is f--- you Eric Williams," said Christine Foreman, Cynthia McClelland's daughter.

McClelland's son, Nathan, said he has had a range of emotions.

"I think hate is corrosive, it can eat away your soul so I try not to hate, but I cannot forgive and I cannot forget," Nathan Foreman said.

Authorities say a masked Williams gunned down Hasse in January 2013 outside a courthouse building in broad daylight.

Prosecutors say a "masked assassin" whom they identified as Williams approached Hasse as he walked to work and the two shoved each other. They said Hasse pleaded and yelled "I'm sorry" before he was repeatedly shot.

Two months later, Williams stormed into the McLellands' rural home and shot both the district attorney and his wife more than a dozen times each, according to evidence at his trial.

Williams' wife, Kim, is accused of helping him carry out the slayings and testified before closing arguments Tuesday that she drove the getaway car in Hasse's death and helped her husband dispose of weapons used in the shooting of the McClellands.

She said Eric Williams had a hit list that included former state District Judge Glen Ashworth and Kaufman County District Attorney Erleigh Norville Wiley.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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