Texas DA slayings: Jailed couple suspected in killings seek divorce

Eric Lyle Williams, a former justice of the peace and his wife, Kim, were indicted on capital murder charges in the slayings of North Texas prosecutors Assistant Dist. Atty. Mark Hasse and Dist. Atty. Mike McLelland and McLelland's wife, Cynthia. Hasse was shot outside the local courthouse and the McLellands at their home this year.
(Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office)

The husband and wife accused of teaming up and killing two Texas prosecutors out of revenge are on the verge of getting a divorce, according to court documents obtained by the Los Angeles Times.

The big criminal news out of Kaufman County, Texas, on Thursday was the unsealing of grand jury indictments against Eric Lyle Williams and Kim Lene Williams, both 46.

The pair were arrested in April on suspicion of killing Kaufman County Assistant Dist. Atty. Mark Hasse outside the Kaufman County Courthouse in late January and Dist. Atty. Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia, in their home March 30.

The indictments formalize what officials had previously revealed in news conferences and court filings, which the Los Angeles Times has written about previously.


McLelland and Hasse had prosecuted Eric Lyle Williams, then a justice of the peace, in the theft of three computers. Williams’ career ended after his conviction, and officials arrested him on suspicion of making a “terroristic threat” against investigators from his personal computer the day after the McLellands’ deaths.

Shortly after, Kim Lene Williams confessed to helping her husband carry out the killings, and she was also arrested.

Now, according to a court filing made Thursday, she has asked for a divorce as the pair await trial, where they could be given the death penalty.

“The marriage has become insupportable because of discord or conflict of personalities between [Kim Williams] and [Eric Williams] that destroys the legitimate ends of the marriage relationship and prevents any reasonable expectation of reconciliation,” the filing states.

According to the filing, the pair were married in 1996, never had children and “ceased to live together as husband and wife on or about April 12, 2013" -- the day Eric Williams was arrested.

So does this mean Kim Williams might become a witness against her husband? Kim Williams’ divorce attorney, John Stewart, in a brief phone interview, referred questions about the case to Williams’ criminal attorney, but indicated the conflict between the couple had been a recent development in their relationship.

Williams’ criminal attorney, Paul Johnson, could not immediately be reached for comment.

Meanwhile, multiple Kaufman County officials recused themselves from the case because of their ties to the victims and previous involvement with Eric Williams’ prosecution.

According to the Dallas Morning News, two special prosecutors and a visiting judge were expected to be appointed to handle the case.


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