After hearing testimony on Tuesday about the glee Eric Williams took in killing Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McClellend, McClellend's wife, Cynthia, and Assistant Prosecutor Mark Hasse, a Rockwall County jury decided Wednesday morning that Williams should be killed by Texas.
Williams was convicted of Cynthia McClellend's murder on December 4. His lawyers didn't mount a strong defense, hoping instead to save Williams' life in the trial's penalty phase. Witness after witness was called from the depths of Williams' past, each meant to help humanize the man special prosecutors painted as a monster.
After all that, it was one of the last witnesses, called by prosecutors for rebuttal, that resonated the most. Williams' estranged wife admitted guilt for taking part in the crimes, but said her husband was the shooter. She shared his anger, she said, over Hasse's prosecution of Eric Williams for stealing Kaufman County computer equipment. The murders were revenge the couple was happy to take.
The victims' families made sure Eric Williams knew how they felt about the outcome.
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"I hope you suffer in fear every day," Hasse's mother said in a statement read to the court. "You are going to die and our family will be there to watch it happen."
McClellend's family was equally unequivocal.
"Pretty much the only thing I have to say is fuck you, Eric Williams," Cynthia McClellend's daughter Christina Foreman said.
Williams will spend the night in Kaufman County before being transferred to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice's Polunsky Unit death row tomorrow.