Former Justice of the Peace Convicted of Triple Murder Seeks New Death Penalty Trial, Citing Biased Judge and Inadequate Preparation

TERRELL, Texas — Eric Williams, a former justice of the peace who committed a triple murder over a decade ago, is seeking a new death penalty trial, according to a court document. Williams alleges that his defense attorneys did not have sufficient time to prepare for trial or review the overwhelming evidence. He also claims that the judge was biased and that moving the case to Rockwall County did not provide him with a fair trial.

In January 2013, Williams donned a tactical vest and black mask as he gunned down prosecutor Mark Hasse a block away from the Kaufman County courthouse. Two months later, he killed District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife Cynthia in their home. In 2014, Williams was sentenced to death row for capital murder.

A federal judge for the Northern District of Texas is set to hear the case on Tuesday. Williams had previously made unsuccessful appeals, one of which argued that his “broken” brain entitled him to a new trial.

During the 2012 trial, it was revealed that Williams had been prosecuted by Hasse and McLelland for stealing county computer equipment, which resulted in him losing his position as an elected justice of the peace. The killings caused panic within the Kaufman County legal community.

Williams’ execution date has yet to be determined.

It is worth noting that his estranged wife, Kim Williams, helped plan the murders and pleaded guilty, receiving a 40-year sentence.

The request for a new death penalty trial by Eric Williams, the former justice of the peace who committed a triple murder in Kaufman County, Texas over a decade ago, alleges inadequate defense preparation, biased judgment, and lack of a fair trial. Williams was convicted and sentenced to death row in 2014 for the capital murder of District Attorney Mike McLelland, his wife Cynthia, and prosecutor Mark Hasse. A federal judge is scheduled to hear the case on Tuesday. No execution date has been set.