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Former justice of the peace charged in Texas DA murders

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    Authorities search a storage unit at Gibson Self Storage as they continue to investigate the slayings of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland, his wife and a top prosecutor, Saturday, April 13, 2013 in Seagoville, Texas. Authorities investigating the death of a Texas district attorney arrested Eric Williams, a former justice of the peace and charged him Saturday with making a "terroristic threat" after searching his home. (AP Photo/The Dallas Morning News, Michael Ainsworth) MANDATORY CREDIT; MAGS OUT; TV OUT; INTERNET USE BY AP MEMBERS ONLY; NO SALESThe Associated Press

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    File - In this April 15, 2013 file photo, the home of Eric Lyle Williams is shown in Kaufman, Texas. Texas authorities have arrested the former justice of the peace's wife, Kim Lene Williams. Online jail records do not list charges against her and officials in Kaufman County wouldn't immediately comment on the reason for her arrest. A law enforcement official has said authorities are trying to build a case against Eric Lyle Williams in the deaths of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, File)The Associated Press

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    File - This photo provided by the Kaufman County Sheriff's Office shows Eric Williams. Texas authorities have arrested the former justice of the peace's wife, Kim Lene Williams. Online jail records do not list charges against her and officials in Kaufman County wouldn't immediately comment on the reason for her arrest. A law enforcement official has said authorities are trying to build a case against Eric Lyle Williams in the deaths of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia. (AP Photo/Kaufman County Sheriff's Office, File)The Associated Press

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    File - In this April 15, 2013 file photo, a printed sign on the door of the home of Eric Lyle Williams directs media to a spokesperson for the Williams family in Kaufman, Texas. Texas authorities have arrested the former justice of the peace's wife, Kim Lene Williams. Online jail records do not list charges against her and officials in Kaufman County wouldn't immediately comment on the reason for her arrest. A law enforcement official has said authorities are trying to build a case against Eric Lyle Williams in the deaths of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, File)The Associated Press

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    Lt. Justin Lewis, center, PIO of the Kaufman County Sheriff's office announces that Kim Williams is charged with capital murder Wednesday, April 15, 2013 in Kaufman, Texas. Williams, the wife of a former North Texas justice of the peace implicated her husband in the shooting deaths of a local district attorney, his wife and an assistant prosecutor, according to court records filed Wednesday. (AP Photo/The Dallas Morning News, David Woo) MANDATORY CREDIT; MAGS OUT; TV OUT; INTERNET USE BY AP MEMBERS ONLY; NO SALESThe Associated Press

A former justice of the peace has been charged with murder in the slayings of a North Texas district attorney and his assistant who prosecuted him for theft, officials announced Thursday.

Eric Lyle Williams, 46, is charged in the shooting deaths of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia, last month, and assistant prosecutor Mark Hasse in January, Sheriff David Byrnes announced at a news conference. Williams is being held on $23 million bond.

Williams has been jailed since he was arrested Saturday and charged with making a terroristic threat for allegedly emailing an anonymous threat to law officers one day after the McLellands were found dead.

Williams' wife, Kim Williams, was arrested Wednesday and charged with capital murder in the killings. An arrest affidavit alleges she confessed to taking part in the killings and told investigators her husband was the gunman.

Authorities on Thursday said Kim Williams was the getaway driver when her husband allegedly approached Hasse as he walked into work and fatally shot him. They contend she was a passenger in late March when her husband drove to the McLelland home in the Dallas suburb of Forney.

McLelland and Hasse had both participated in the prosecution of Eric Williams last year on charges that he stole three computer monitors from an office building. During closing arguments, the prosecutors presented testimony indicating that Williams had made death threats against a former girlfriend and a local attorney.

A jury found Williams guilty; he received two years' probation, and lost his law license and position as justice of the peace -- a judge who handles mostly administrative duties.

Williams has appealed the verdict, and on March 29 -- a day before the McLellands' bodies were found -- a state appeals court in Dallas agreed to hear oral arguments in the case.

Williams, a former family lawyer, also was an officer with at least 10 different law enforcement agencies in North Texas from 1987 to 2010, according to released Thursday by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education. That included a stint as a deputy with the Kaufman County Sheriff's Department.

Williams has said that after the McLellands were found shot dead in their home March 30 and after Hasse was gunned down Jan. 31 near the county courthouse, he submitted to gunshot residue tests and turned over his cellphone to authorities.

A law enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation previously said authorities were trying to build a case against Williams in the prosecutors' slayings. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the ongoing investigation.

The official said ballistics experts were testing at least 20 weapons found in a storage locker under Eric Williams' name at a facility near Dallas. A Ford Crown Victoria similar to one recorded in the McLellands' neighborhood around the time the couple was killed was parked at the storage facility, the official said.

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