HOUSTON – Top prosecutors all over Texas are taking a hard look at security issues after the murders of the Kaufman County DA and his wife.
Mike and Cynthia McLelland were found shot to death Saturday in their home near Forney, about 20 miles east of Dallas. Their deaths come two months after one of McLelland’s assistant district attorneys was gunned down in a parking lot near his courthouse office.
Law enforcement is beefing up security for many prosecutors, while others have rejected the offers of help.
Harris County District Attorney Mike Anderson said he has accepted the sheriff’s offer of 24-hour security for him and his family.
"They are a little tense I think is a good word. But business as usual," says Sara Marie Kinney of the Harris County DA’s office.
Montgomery County District Attorney Brett Ligon said he’s had more than half a dozen direct death threats since becoming DA.
"When you sign up for this job you know that there are some risks associated with the job," Ligon said. "Every prosecutor and every defense attorney has had some type of threat either from a client or somebody on the other side. It is not unusual."
Ligon said he stepped up security more than a year ago after noticing a national trend of violence towards prosecutors.
"The layers that I have put into place have been in place already. I did not need a specific threat to have a general level of preparedness," he said.
Ligon says he has carried a handgun since his days as a police union lawyer.