North Texas District Attorney, wife murdered
Updated On: Mar 31 2013 11:42:01 PM CDT
A north Texas District attorney and his wife were murdered inside their own home, just two months after the assistant D.A. in the same county was killed, authorities say.
Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife Cynthia were found shot to death inside their home Saturday night.
Investigators spent Sunday afternoon going door to door in the neighborhood where they lived.
McLelland has been Kaufman County's D.A. since 2010, and the chilling crime has shaken residents in the quiet community.
"We've lived here for years," said Kaufman County resident Bryant Martin. "For it to happen so close to home, it's very scary."
With heavy hearts and hands united for support, residents prayed in front of the Kaufman County Courthouse on Sunday.
“I was just praying that the lord save these people who are doing it and move on them to turn themselves in,” said resident Tonya Kyle.
The community remained stunned and frightened by the death.
“Oh, he was an awesome man he really was,” said Donald Kyle. “He was somebody that was passionate about his job and he didn't care what stood in the way.”
"I think this is someone with no mercy who is trying to send a very strong message," said Bryant Martin.
Security increased as investigation continues
The sheriff's office said the department is doing everything possible to keep the community calm and protect law enforcement officers and elected officials.
In a news conference Sunday, the sheriff would not divulge specifics of the investigation, but sources said the couple may have been murdered up to 24 hours before their bodies were discovered by police officers who came to check on them.
"There will be increased security at the courthouse tomorrow. Visible security," said Kaufman County Sheriff David Byrnes.
The shooting of D.A. McLelland and his wife comes almost two months after prosecutor David Hasse was gunned down near the Kaufman County courthouse.
Investigators said they believe the murders are likely related. After Hasse was shot to death, McLelland delivered a warning to his still unidentified killer.
"We're very confident we're going to find you and pull you out of whatever hole you're in and bring you back and let the people of Kaufman County prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law," said McLelland after the murder.
The sheriff's department, Texas Rangers and FBI have not yet commented on a possible motive.
Harris County District Attorney Mike Anderson got the call about the murders Saturday night from Sheriff Adrian Garcia.
He said Garcia insisted his deputies help him out with security until further notice.
Anderson will have deputies with him for as long as he and the sheriff think is safe. He said no extra taxpayer money will be used for the heightened security.
"Our prayers go out to the Kaufman County community as they deal with this terrible tragedy," said Garcia in a statement released Sunday. "We are monitoring the situation for any relevant details. As with any concern for public safety, the Harris County Sheriff's Office is ready to act accordingly to protect the people we serve."
While hearts are heavy in Kaufman County, parents and young children tried to maintain a sense of normality Sunday, including an Easter egg hunt. During church services, a special prayer and a moment of silence was given for the slain district attorney and his wife.