(KAUFMAN, Texas) — The judge in a Texas county where two prosecutors have been killed in three months said Monday he believes the slayings were not “random,” but connected to each other.
Kaufman County Judge Bruce Wood spoke as investigators from across Texas and the country look for clues, including links to the murder of Colorado’s prisons chief and a white supremacist gang.
Detectives are investigating the deaths of prosecutor Mike McLelland and his wife Cynthia. They were found dead in their home on Saturday. The murder of the McLellands comes just weeks after Kaufman County assistant district attorney Mark Hasse was gunned down outside the county courthouse in January.
“It would seem to me this is not a random act,” Wood told reporters Monday. “There has to be a connection in my way of thinking. It has to be more than coincidence, I’d think.”
As of now investigators have found “no physical evidence” linking the two crimes, the judge said.
Law enforcement officials are also investigating a possible link to the execution-style killing of Colorado Department of Corrections chief Tom Clements, who was killed in his home less than two weeks ago.
Evan Ebel, a Colorado man who was released from prison in January, was believed to be responsible for Clements’ murder, according to authorities. Ebel died from wounds sustained in a shootout with Texas police.
Investigators said they are working to determine if Ebel had links to white supremacist “[prison] gang members” who could shed light on any of the cases.
Wood on Monday would not comment on any potential links to the Aryan Brotherhood, calling it “part of the investigation.”
Police have increased security for employees in the Kaufman County prosecutor’s office and others at the courthouse, including the judge.
Wood said he was given a police body guard, and that other staff members were receiving protection.
McLelland began regularly carrying a gun following Hasse’s murder in January. He had sworn at Hasse’s funeral that he would track down the person or people responsible for his death.
Sources told ABC News affiliate WFAA-TV in Dallas that a police officer friend went to check on the McLellands Saturday night and found the front door of their home open. When he walked inside, sources said, the officer discovered Cynthia McLelland dead in a front room of the house and Mike McLelland dead in a hallway, as though he had tried to escape the assailant.
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