Jury selection begins in Kaufman Co. murder trial - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Jury selection begins in Kaufman Co. murder trial

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Potential jurors waited in line outside the courthouse on Friday. Potential jurors waited in line outside the courthouse on Friday.
ROCKWALL COUNTY, TX (KLTV) -

A jury selection process expected to take months began Friday in Rockwall County for the upcoming trials of a husband and wife accused of killing a Kaufman County district attorney, his wife and a chief deputy.

Prosecutors said earlier this year that the state will seek the death penalty against Eric Lyle Williams, 47, and Kim Lene Williams, 47. The couple will be tried separately.

Dallas County District Judge Mike Snipes granted a change of venue request in January, moving the trial from Kaufman to Rockwall County after reviewing a request by Williams’ defense team. Snipes is scheduled to preside over the trial this fall.

A long line of potential jurors was seen outside the courthouse in Rockwall most of Friday morning, with several hundred additional people reportedly scheduled to appear during the evening hours.

Potential jurors were asked to fill out a 28-page questionnaire and were told appointments to interview jurors would be scheduled in May.

The trial of Eric Williams is set to begin in October. Williams is charged with capital murder in the shooting deaths of district attorney Mike McLelland and wife Cynthia, and chief deputy Mark Hasse.

Williams is charged with capital murder in the death of Chief Deputy Hasse, who was gunned down in January 2013 while walking to the Kaufman County Courthouse, and in the deaths of the McLellands, who were found shot to death inside their Forney home two months later.

Williams was initially arrested in April 2013 after authorities investigating the shootings found evidence on his computer of threats made against Kaufman County officials shortly after the McLelland’s were killed.

A later search warrant executed on a storage shed registered to Williams led to the discovery of a weapons cache containing the type used in the killings, as well as a white Crown Victoria similar to the one seen leaving the McClelland’s neighborhood around the time of the killings, according to the arrest affidavit.

One day later authorities arrested Eric Williams’ wife, 47-year-old Kim Williams, who confessed to her role in the killings and implicated her husband as the shooter, police said.

Officials said Kim Williams confessed to driving her husband to the Hasse slaying, and to waiting in the car when the McLelland’s were shot to death.

Arrest affidavits show police believe legal problems with the county may have led the couple to commit the crime.

In 2012, Eric Williams was prosecuted by the Kaufman County District Attorney’s office for stealing equipment from the county.

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