Defense lawyers seek sympathy for ex-official convicted in revenge plot against prosecutors

Attorneys for a former public official convicted of capital murder in a revenge plot against North Texas prosecutors are portraying him in a sympathetic light in an effort to spare him the death penalty.

Jurors heard a fifth day of testimony Friday to determine the punishment for 47-year-old Eric Williams.

His lawyers have called a series of childhood friends who described the former justice of the peace as smart and considerate.

Williams was convicted last week of fatally shooting Cynthia McLelland, who was found dead last year with her husband, Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland, in their home near Dallas. Williams is accused of killing Mike McLelland and an assistant prosecutor but wasn't tried for those deaths.

Prosecutors say Williams plotted revenge after being convicted of stealing county equipment.