Mayor: Deaths of Texas DA, wife 'not a random act'

Associated Press
This undated photo taken from the Kaufman County, Texas, website shows Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland. McLelland and his wife were found killed in their house, Saturday, March 30, 2013, two months after one of his assistants was gunned down near their office, authorities said. (AP Photo/Kaufman County)
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This undated photo taken from the Kaufman County, Texas, website shows Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland. McLelland and his wife were found killed in their house, Saturday, March 30, 2013, two months after one of his assistants was gunned down near their office, authorities said. (AP Photo/Kaufman County)

KAUFMAN, Texas (AP) — Two months after one of his assistant prosecutors was gunned down, a north Texas district attorney and his wife were found killed in their home, authorities said.

The bodies of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia, were found in their home Saturday, Kaufman County sheriff's Lt. Justin Lewis said. Authorities would not comment on a motive.

"Everybody's a little on edge and a little shocked," Forney Mayor Darren Rozell told The Associated Press on Sunday. "It appears this was not a random act."

Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse was shot to death in a parking lot a block from his office on Jan. 31. No arrests have been made in his death.

Lewis declined to say how the couple died or whether authorities believe their deaths are linked to Hasse's. Police, FBI agents, Texas Rangers and deputies were all part of the investigation.

Rozell said what's so shocking is that the attack occurred at the district attorney's home, an unincorporated area just outside Forney, which has 15,000 residents within the city limits and about 40,000 in the area. Kaufman County is 33 miles southeast of Dallas.

Kaufman Police Chief Chris Aulbaugh told The Dallas Morning News that the McLellands had been shot in their home, and although investigators didn't know if their deaths were related to Hasse's killing, they couldn't discount it.

"It was a shock with Mark Hasse, and now you can just imagine the double shock and until we know what happened, I really can't confirm that it's related but you always have to assume until it's proven otherwise," Aulbaugh told the newspaper.

Sam Rosander, who lives in the same unincorporated area of Kaufman County as the McLellands, told the AP on Saturday that sheriff's deputies were parked in the district attorney's driveway for about a month after Hasse was killed.

Aulbaugh said recently that the FBI was checking to see if Hasse's killing could be related to the March 19 killing of Colorado Department of Corrections head Tom Clements, who was gunned down after answering the doorbell at his home.

Evan Spencer Ebel, a former Colorado inmate and white supremacist who authorities believe killed Clements and a pizza deliveryman two days earlier, was killed in a March 21 shootout with Texas deputies about 100 miles from Kaufman.

Hasse was chief of the organized crime unit when he was an assistant prosecutor in Dallas County in the 1980s, and he handled similar cases in Kaufman County.

"Anything anybody can think of, we're looking through," McLelland said after Hasse's death.

McLelland graduated from the University of Texas before a 23-year career in the Army, according to the website for the district attorney's office. He later earned his law degree from the Texas Wesleyan School of Law.

He and his wife have two daughters and three sons. One son is a police officer in Dallas.

McLelland and his wife had moved into the home within the past few years ago, Rozell said.

"Real friendly, became part of our community quickly," Rozell said. "They were a really pleasant happy couple."

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Associated Press writer Michael Graczyk in Houston contributed to this report.

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