Gov. Rick Perry Announces $200,000 Reward for Texas DA's Killer

Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife were killed last weekend, two months after his top assistant was gunned down

By Frank Heinz
|  Thursday, Apr 4, 2013  |  Updated 4:53 PM EDT
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Authorities Say Still No Suspect in Kaufman Co. DA Slaying

NBC 5 News

People who knew Mike and Cynthia McLelland say the two were not only great citizens in Kaufman County but strong leaders in their faith.

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Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced Thursday his office was adding $100,000 to the reward pool for the investigation into the shooting deaths of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland, his wife Cynthia, and Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse.

The additional funds bring the reward total to $200,000 for convictions tied to tips from the public. The McLellands were gunned down at their home over the weekend. Hasse was shot as he arrived to work near the county courthouse on Jan. 31. No none has yet been arrested in either case.

Photos and Videos

Former Judge Says He Was Questioned in DA's Murder

A former Kaufman County judge says he was questioned by agents just hours after the slain district attorney and his wife were found but insists he had nothing to do with it and doesn't even own a gun.

Man Arrested After Threat Left on Murder Tipline

The Kaufman County Sheriff's Department has arrested 56-year-old Nick Morale of Terrell, they say left a threatening message on a tipline.
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During a news conference with officials from Kaufman County, the FBI and the Texas Department of Public Safety, Perry addressed reports that gangs, cartels or the Aryan Brotherhood may be connected to the killings.

"It is very premature to make any statements about who may or may not have been involved with this. There was a report by the DPS that said the greatest threat to Texans' safety were the drug cartels. Obviously that's part of the investigation," Perry said.

He vowed to "leave no stone unturned."

Perry deferred answering questions about the murder investigations, or connections between the investigations, to law enforcement working on the cases, though he did commend them for their work so far.

"We're not going to allow the lawlessness of a few to cause us a moments hesitation in our efforts to make a safer and more secure Texas," Perry said.

Perry, as well as dignitaries from Washington D.C. and law enforcement officers from as far away as Great Britain later attended a public memorial for the McLellands on Thursday, where a capacity crowd of more than 3,000 people was expected at the First Baptist Church of Sunnyvale in Mesquite.

Security was tight for the memorial and officials said there would be armed officers patrolling inside and outside the church.

A funeral for the McLellands will be held at 10 a.m. Friday at First Baptist Church in Wortham. Burial will be at Wortham Cemetery. Wortham, where McLelland grew up, is 75 miles south of Dallas.

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McLellands Remembered

A McLelland family representitive gave the following statement to NBC's Today show:

"On behalf of the McLelland family, we would like to thank everyone for all of the thoughts and prayers for our family during this tragic time. We would greatly appreciate the continued support for our family while we grieve the loss of these two special people. We sincerely appreciate the efforts of each and every law enforcement agency that is so diligently working on this case. We respectfully request that all news and media outlets respect our privacy as we grieve our loss."

Honor Guard organizer Chris Heisler said he regularly speaks with the family.

"They're heartbroken, and they're angry. This is something that happened here in North Texas. It's impacted them, and also citizens and communities around the country," Heisler said.

NBC 5's Jeff Smith and Scott Gordon contributed to this report.

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