Crime

Kim Williams Pleads Guilty in Kaufman County DA Murders, Gets 40 Years

Unlike her estranged husband, Kim Williams will not go through a lengthy trial. Tuesday morning, she admitted her guilt in the murder of Mark Hasse, the Kaufman County assistant district attorney gunned down in the street in Kaufman by Eric Williams.

Kim Williams drove the getaway car. During the penalty phase of Eric Williams' trial, she testified about her and her husband's glee and relief after the killing, how they had a "happy, satisfied and quiet" ride home after Eric Williams shot Hasse near the Kaufman County courthouse.

Two months later, the Williamses would kill twice more, murdering Mike McClellend -- Hasse's boss -- and McClellend's wife, Cynthia, in their home. To celebrate, Kim Williams said, the couple had a barbecue at her parents' house.

Giving a victim impact statement, Mike McClellend's son J.R. thanked Kim Williams for the information she gave authorities but said she had the opportunity to stop the murders and didn't. He went on to say that she was weak-minded and got what she deserved.

Speaking after Kim Williams' sentencing hearing, Paul Johnson, her attorney, said she was "very sorry for the pain she's caused."

Kim Williams guilty plea ends a tragedy that began with Eric Williams' theft of Kaufman County computer equipment. Hasse and McClellend prosecuted him for the theft, and he lost his post as a justice of the peace.

Eric Williams became fixated on revenge, compiling a tremendous arsenal and meticulously planning the murders. He bought a getaway car under an assumed name and talked an acquaintance into renting a storage locker for him.

After the murders, he sent what he thought were anonymous emails to Crime Stoppers boasting about what he'd done, promising more violence if his other demands -- like the resignation of a Kaufman County judge -- weren't met.

At trial, Eric Williams' lawyers didn't mount much of a defense, saving the little credibility they might have with the jury for the penalty phase. They hoped to save Eric Williams' life. Williams was sentenced to death on December 17.

KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Stephen Young has written about Dallas news for the Observer since 2014. He's a Dallas native and a graduate of the University of North Texas.
Contact: Stephen Young