Thursday, December 5 2013 11:06 AM EST2013-12-05 16:06:32 GMT
The 16 year old girl involved in one of two Covington County car crashes Wednesday afternoon has died. All others involved have injuries. Kaylan Ainsworth was extracted from her car and airlifted to theMore >>
A 16-year-old girl involved in one of two Covington County car crashes Wednesday afternoon has died. All others involved have injuries.More >>
Wednesday, December 4 2013 10:38 PM EST2013-12-05 03:38:22 GMT
Around 5:40 p.m. a call was made to the Hattiesburg Police Department reporting of shots fired at the Wendy's across the street from Cloverleaf Mall. Officers arrived to the scene find one person hadMore >>
Around 5:40 p.m. a call was made to the Hattiesburg Police Department reporting of shots fired at the Wendy's across the street from Cloverleaf Mall.More >>
Thursday, December 5 2013 11:44 AM EST2013-12-05 16:44:22 GMT
This is a news release from Jones County Junior College Sixty-two Jones County Junior College faculty and staff were recently honored for their years of service to the college. Administrators treatedMore >>
Sixty-two Jones County Junior College faculty and staff were recently honored for their years of service to the college. More >>
Thursday, December 5 2013 9:15 AM EST2013-12-05 14:15:24 GMT
The aunt of a 12 year old girl police say was raped several times dating back to this summer still finds it difficult to find the words to describe her pain. "It's like my world fell from underneath meMore >>
Police said the rape of a 12-year-old girl now includes five people and more arrests could be on the way. Her aunt still finds it difficult to find the words to describe her pain.More >>
A former Kaufman County justice
of the peace was charged with capital murder Thursday in the deaths of a
Kaufman County assistant prosecutor and the Kaufman County district attorney
and his wife.
Eric Williams is being held in
the Kaufman County Jail on multiple charges, including capital murder and
terroristic threat, related to the deaths of Kaufman County district attorney Mike
McLelland, his wife Cynthia and assistant district attorney Mark Hasse. Eric
Williams is being held on a total bond of $23 million.
Williams has been in the
Kaufman County Jail since early Saturday morning. He was arrested on a
terroristic threat charge after investigators discovered evidence he had made
threats via electronic communication against Kaufman County officials shortly
after Mike and Cynthia McLelland were killed on March 30.
The capital murder charge against
Eric Williams comes one day after his wife, 46-year-old Kim Williams, was
arrested and charged with capital murder for her role in the deaths of Hasse
and the McLellands. Judicial records show she was booked into the Kaufman
County Jail at 2:58 a.m. on Wednesday. She is being held on a bond of $10
In an interview with police, Kim
Williams gave investigators details about the murders that were not available
to the public. Kim Williams told police that her husband, Eric Williams was
involved in the murder plot.
According to officials, Eric
Williams was the triggerman in both killings. Kim Williams drove in the Hasse
slaying and was a passenger in the car the night the McLellands were killed.
Mike and Cynthia McLelland were
found shot to death in their Forney home on March 30, two
months after Mark Hasse was gunned down while walking to the Kaufman
County Courthouse on January 31.
In March 2012, Eric Williams was
prosecuted by the Kaufman County district attorney's office for stealing
equipment from Kaufman County. He was convicted and was removed from office.
After that case, Hasse and Mike McLelland began carrying handguns because they
believed Eric Williams was a threat to their safety.
Authorities said in arrest
affidavits and in a Thursday press conference that they believe Williams' legal
problems with the county may have led the couple to commit the crime.
"I don't know that I could
assess the motive. It's kind of mind-boggling to me that someone would go out
and shoot three innocent people for any motive," said Kaufman County
Sheriff David Byrnes on Thursday.
A search warrant obtained on
Monday shows that the Williams' home was searched on Friday, April 12, in
connection with the murders of Kaufman County Prosecutor Mark Hasse, and
Kaufman County DA Mike McLelland and his wife Cynthia.
Eric Williams' arrest affidavit
says that in searching his home and his in-law's home on April 12,
investigators found numerous weapons, including rifles and revolvers that
matched the calibers believed to kill the McLellands and Mark Hasse.
According to the arrest
affidavit, Hasse's autopsy results revealed he was shot multiple
times, "with what appeared to be a weapon capable of firing a .38 or .357
caliber cartridge and that the weapon used was possibly a Smith and Wesson or
Ruger style weapon." Authorities recovered two .357 caliber handguns from
Eric Williams' in-laws' home on April 12.
The arrest affidavit also reveals
the McLellands were both shot multiple times, and that evidence at the scene
suggested they were killed by "a weapon capable of firing a .223 caliber
cartridge." Authorities recovered "come component parts of weapons
consistent with an AR-style weapon, capable of firing .223 caliber ammunition
like that used in the McLelland murders" during their search of Eric
Williams' home on April 12.
However, Sheriff Byrnes said that
finding a storage unit Saturday that Eric Williams had rented in
Seagoville proved to be the break in the case. The arrest affidavit notes that
Williams had purchased a 2004 White Ford Crown Victoria in February 2013 under
the alias "Richard Greene." Williams had parked the Crown Victoria in
the unit, which had been seen in security camera footage leaving the
McLelland's neighborhood shortly after their murders.
The affidavit says security
camera footage near the storage unit shows the Crown Victoria leaving the
storage unit shortly before the McLelland murders and returning shortly after
the McLelland murders. In addition, records at the storage facility indicate
the storage unit was accessed shortly after Mark Hasse's death.
In addition to the Crown
Victoria, authorities recovered 41 firearms from the storage unit,
"including eight .223 caliber weapons, two .38 caliber handguns and one
.357 caliber handgun, two .223 'lowers' with no 'uppers,'" and
"ammunition consistent with that used during the Hasse ... and
Authorities from at least ten
local, state, and federal agencies were on hand during a press briefing
Thursday to discuss the capital murder charge against Eric Williams. They all
touted teamwork as the reason they were able to put Eric and Kim Williams
"From the very onset,
everyone involved in this criminal investigation has been acutely aware of the
vital importance of determining the identity of those responsible for this
heinous act," said Kirby Denby, a chief with the Texas Rangers.
County Judge Bruce Wood said
Wednesday after Kim Williams's arrest that his courthouse employees had a sense
of relief that the case is moving forward.
"Even though this charge of capital murder has occurred with perhaps
another charge coming later on, sometime with Mr. Williams, we're still in a
state of shock and disbelief," Wood said.
Wood worked with Mark Hasse and Mike McLelland and said Kim Williams's arrest
is the "beginning stage of the justice process."
"Quite honestly, this is a troubling, this is a tragic series of events
that none of would have ever expected to occur in our county," Wood said.
"There is a sense of relief that perhaps this case is moving forward with
the arrest and charge of Mrs. Williams."
Wood said Wednesday that Mike McLelland told him the day of Mark Hasse's murder
that Eric Williams was the person police should be investigating.
"My belief was certainly he would be investigated and was investigated,
and the other discussions I had with Mr. McLelland was, there was very little
evidence at the crime scene and that hurt as far as the investigation was
concerned," Wood said.
"I don't think anybody could have written a novel, maybe, that would have
played out this story like it has done," he added.
Carol Altom lives on the same block as the Williams and was good friends with
"I don't know why she had to die over this. I really don't," she
said. "I can understand the DA and the assistant, but not her. She had
nothing to do with it."
Altom said Wednesday she was shocked to hear the news of Kim and Eric
"I can't believe they did it, if he did do it. I'm not sure he did yet.
But I'm amazed if it is the truth," she said.
Overall, investigators said
Thursday they were relieved that justice had been served.
"January 31st and March 30th
will forever be days of sorrow and remembrance in Kaufman," said Diego
Rodriguez, the FBI Special Agent in Charge of the Dallas office on Thursday. "Today,
though, the residents of Kaufman and all of those sworn to protect the rights,
freedom and safety of individuals throughout our country should celebrate the
success in law enforcement and that justice has been delivered to the citizens
of Kaufman and the families of Mark Hasse and Mike and Cynthia McLelland."
Eric and Kim Williams will remain
in the Kaufman County Jail. If convicted, both could face the death penalty.
Authorities say their
investigation is ongoing, but they do not believe there are any other major
actors in the case.
Thursday, December 5 2013 7:36 PM EST2013-12-06 00:36:24 GMT
A multi-agency drug sweep called "Operation Wake-up Call" rounded up ten alleged drug dealers from both poplarville and the Pearl River Community College Campus. The Poplarville Police Department asMore >>
A multi-agency drug sweep called "Operation Wake-up Call" rounded up ten alleged drug dealers from both poplarville and the Pearl River Community College Campus.More >>
Thursday, December 5 2013 6:10 PM EST2013-12-05 23:10:23 GMT
A Jones County woman and five children are homeless after a fire destroyed their home Tuesday. The initial call came in to the Southwest Jones Volunteer Fire Department around 1:35 p.m. Crews were ableMore >>
A Jones County family of eight are homeless after a fire of unknown causes destroyed their home Tuesday afternoon.More >>
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