The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

March 31, 2013

Texas DA, wife slain in home; had armed himself

KAUFMAN, Texas — Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland took no chances after one of his assistant prosecutors was gunned down two months ago. McLelland said he carried a gun everywhere he went and took extra care when answering the door at his home.

"I'm ahead of everybody else because, basically, I'm a soldier," the 23-year Army veteran said in an interview less than two weeks ago.

On Saturday, he and his wife were found shot to death in their rural home just outside the town of Forney, about 20 miles from Dallas.

While investigators gave no motive for the killings, Forney Mayor Darren Rozell said: "It appears this was not a random act."

"Everybody's a little on edge and a little shocked," he said.

The slayings came less than two weeks after Colorado's prison chief was shot to death at his front door, apparently by a white supremacist ex-convict, and two months after Kaufman County Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse was killed in a parking lot a block from his office. No arrests have been made in Hasse's slaying Jan. 31.

McLelland, 63, is the 13th prosecutor killed in the U.S. since the National Association of District Attorneys began keeping count in the 1960s.

Sheriff David Byrnes said Sunday that there was nothing to indicate for sure whether McLelland's slaying was connected to Hasse's. He declined to discuss it further. The sheriff also said he had no indication that white supremacist groups were involved in the killing of the DA.

Colorado's corrections director, Tom Clements, was killed March 19 when he answered the doorbell at his home outside Colorado Springs, Colo. Evan Spencer Ebel, a former Colorado inmate and white supremacist who authorities suspect shot Clements, died in shootout with Texas deputies two days later about 100 miles from Kaufman.

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