Kaufman Co. judge: 'We're all in this together" - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Kaufman Co. judge: 'We're all in this together"


The last public ceremony was held Tuesday at the Kaufman County Courthouse for the slain Kaufman County District Attorney and his wife. Mike and Cynthia McLelland were found murdered in their home near Forney in the early morning hours of Saturday, March 30.

Before the ceremony, Kaufman County Judge Bruce Wood sat down on Tuesday morning to talk about how the county is moving forward after the murders of the McLellands and of assistant district attorney Mark Hasse on January 31.

As Kaufman County officials looked on in silence during a lunchtime ceremony, the United States Honor Flag was removed from the courthouse, where it flew for 24 hours to honor the service Mike McLelland gave the county for just over three years.

And now, Judge Wood says all county employees, especially those in the DA's office, have the tough task of finding a new normal.

"They've dealt with a lot of tragedy in that office, but I really believe they're trying to do their jobs, and like many other people are just trying to move forward and get into a routine," Judge Wood said. "And when I say get into a routine, I don't mean we're ever going to forget this. None of us will ever forget what has happened. But we are trying to move on with our lives."

But there are lingering symbols of last weekend's tragedy around the courthouse. To show their support for the McLelland family and Kaufman County law enforcement officials, green ribbons have been placed by office doors, around the courthouse trees and are being worn by county employees.

Kaufman County officials say they chose the green color because it represents spring, and the hope they have that the people who murdered Mark Hasse and the McLellands will be brought to justice soon.

"We are praying as a county, as employees," Judge Wood said for the law enforcement officials investigating the crime. "Literally there are hundreds of people that I believe are working around the clock to find the perpetrators of this act. It's just a way to keep them in our prayers, keep these families in our prayers, and to show support that we all have for what the families have been through and what law enforcement is doing and for the people that protect us."

"We're all in this together, and that's just our show of support for what we're trying to do as a county," Judge Wood added, as the county attempts to move forward and rebuild yet again.

Wood says he and other county employees are particularly appreciative for the outpouring of emails and support that have come from people all over the state.

The reward for any information leading to the arrest and indictment of suspects in the murders of the McLellands and Mark Hasse remains at $200,000.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Kaufman County Crimestoppers at (877) 847-7522.

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