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Probe of Texas prosecutor killings looks at corruption cases

By Ed Lavandera, CNN Correspondent
updated 9:06 PM EDT, Tue April 2, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Wide-ranging theories abound in killings of prosecutors
  • Investigators also are looking at local cases
  • One includes former justice of peace tried last year

Kaufman County, Texas (CNN) -- While speculation swirls around them, investigators in this north Texas county are leaving no stone unturned as they dig for clues into who killed two prosecutors.

Theories have included hits by grudge-holding drug cartels or by a white supremacist gang targeted by Texas and federal authorities last year.

Prosecutor gunned down outside Texas courthouse

CNN has learned that beyond those possible scenarios, tight-lipped investigators also are looking at local public corruption cases in Kaufman County.

Who are the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas?

One example involves an official convicted last year.

Since the January 31 daytime slaying of chief felony prosecutor Mark Hasse outside the courthouse, authorities have pored through his case files.

Saturday night, hours after Hasse's boss, District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia, were found dead at their home, investigators met at a local Denny's restaurant with the convicted official, his attorney told CNN on Tuesday.

Investigators took swab samples from Eric Williams' hand to test him for gun residue, attorney David Sergi said. CNN does not know what the results of those swab tests have revealed to investigators.

Sergi says his client voluntarily cooperated because he has nothing to hide.

Williams, a former justice of the peace, was convicted of burglary and theft by a public servant and was sentenced to two years' probation.

The development shows investigators are looking at much more than possible cartel or Aryan Brotherhood of Texas connections to the cases.

They are looking through all the McLelland and Hasse case files to see if any red flags arise.

County Judge Bruce Wood said "literally hundreds" of investigators are working the case.

"I'm not sure what time frame we're on, but I'm confident that they will find whoever committed this crime," he told reporters Tuesday.

The investigation is starting from scratch, with no leads in the McLellands' deaths, CNN affiliate WFAA reported.

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