Kaufman County Officials Vow to Pull Prosecutor's Killer "Out of Whatever Hole You're In"

Categories: Crime

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Kaufman County Sheriff David Byrnes
Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLellan didn't mince words when he addressed reporters about the murder this morning of Mark Hasse, one of his prosecutors.

"I hope that the people that did this are watching, because we're very confident that we're going to find you, we're going to pull you out of whatever hole you're in, and we're gonna bring you back and let the people of Kaufman County [punish you] to the fullest extent of the law," McLellan said.

First, law enforcement officials have to figure out who they are. McLellan was joined on the steps of the Kaufman County Sheriff's Office by Sheriff David Byrnes and Kaufman police Chief Chris Aulbaugh, who said they're interviewing witnesses and investigating multiple leads.

For now, officials can't say for sure whether there was one gunman or two, the attacker(s) race, what the motive might have been or if Hasse was the intended target.

"We can't say we're confident that it was a hit," Aulbaugh said.

Pretty much all they know for sure is that the shooter was wearing black and that Hasse is dead.

A reporter asked if the murder might be related to a case Hasse had been working on, which prompted Byrnes to recoil from the microphone. "Nope," he said flatly. "I'm not responding to that."

Aulbaugh stepped in to say that his officers, along with the Texas Department of Public Safety; the FBI; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and a number of local agencies are following up every lead that comes in but can't say anything for certain.

Another reporter asked more pointedly about Hasse's involvement in the investigation of Aryan Brotherhood members Ben Christian Dillon, aka "Tuff," and James Marshall Meldrum, aka "Dirty," who pleaded guilty today on federal racketeering charges. Hours after the shooting, the Department of Justice issued a press release thanking the Kaufman County DA's office, along with about two dozen other agencies, for help on the case.

That fact was reported prominently by WFAA and the Morning News, but McLellan threw a bit of cold water on any speculation that Hasse's murder was tied to any work against the Aryan Brotherhood.

"All the prosecutors in our office, they will have dealings with different cases at one time or another. Right now as far as I know he didn't have any active cases" involving the Brotherhood, McLellan said.

Being a prosecutor -- and a damn good one -- Hasse had any number of people who might wish to do him harm, McLellan said.

"When you deal with bad people on a regular basis, you know there's the potential for some of these bad people to do something bad to you, because they've already done bad to someone else."

McLellan likened the job to climbing light poles: "You might fall off. Most of the time you don't."

McLellan also offered a brief biographical sketch of Hasse, a veteran prosecutor who once plied his trade in Dallas County. He had just bought a house in Kaufman and was fixing it up. He was a great storyteller. He was a pilot who nearly died several years back when the World War II-era plane he was flying lost power crashed into the side of a mountain, crushing half his skull.

He was in a coma for something like 90 days and emerged without his sense of smell, the district attorney said.

"He had an absolute passion for putting away bad guys. He enjoyed nothing better."


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34 comments
ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

Ive always wondered why judges and prosecutors dont have private, access controlled parking garages at all the courthouses and DA offices.  I realize they had their own lot but wouldn't an underground garage with armed guard be much better for them.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

We pay some guys, who are willing, to stand up in court, day after day, and represent society in the prosecution of Justice.     It's a throw of the dice.  Sooner or later, you are going to come up snake eyes.  

It takes a lot of guts to continually look killers-to-creeps in the eyes and detail to them in a public court just how miserable and unworthy they are to be free among the rest of us.  It's hard to find men and women who are willing to do this and are also effective at it.

If we don't prioritize the hunt for the killers of Mr. Hasse, the terrorists win.  It's not a punch line.  They really do advance their continuing criminal enterprise and encourage others to do so.  So it is in our self-interest to bring these guys, who may be part of a loose organization, to justice.

And if these killers are pros (hired to do this), they will be very hard to catch.

unclescrappy
unclescrappy

WOW, guess it is a matter of who you are. Too bad they dont spend as much time & resources investigating other people who are killed & assaulted like they are doing here.

Rumpunch1
Rumpunch1

It's going to be a long night for any skinhead, brotherhood or any other nazi type in the Kaufman area tonight. Luckily they are easy to find. The Sheriff just needs to drive around looking for shitty trailer houses with a unsupervised three year old in the front yard in a wife beater making he Heil Hitler handsign.

bmarvel
bmarvel topcommenter

@unclescrappy Yes it does matter. The assassination of a public prosecutor isn't just another murder. It's an assault upon all of us, upon the laws we depend upon to protect us. It's like the killing of a policeman, but more menacing because it strikes at the roots of our system of courts and justice.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

@unclescrappy This one is important because the assassins are sending a message of terror to anyone investigating right-wing hate groups like the Aryan Brotherhood.

WylieH
WylieH

@mavdog Watkins was just being his usual, dim-witted, semi-competent, but always political self.

wcvemail
wcvemail

@mavdog Watkins announced the arrest himself, then sent out Debbie Denmon 45 minutes later to sorta-kinda back off the arrest claim, accordinv to the continuing updates.

unclescrappy
unclescrappy

@bmarvel @unclescrappy So you are saying that your life or your families lifes arent as important as this persons. While you may feel that way about yourself & your family. I feel completly different. My family is the most important thing in the world. And I want them protected just as much as being shown here. Unfortunately that isnt the way things happen. Justice is only for those who can afford to buy off the politicians and those in the "Good Ole Boy Group"

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz@unclescrappy It would actually send a message of terror to anyone investigating ANY hate group.  Hatred is not a political stance, it is an ignorant, human stance.  I happen to subscribe to the theory that this might very likely stem from his investigation of AB, however, political violence in this country is the claim of only the political right.  The political left has their share of shameful stories of violence as well. 

Other than that, I completely agree with your defense of the importance of this case.  If we let the murder of those who stand on the line between us and savagery go without a reckoning, then which side of the line do we stand on?

unclescrappy
unclescrappy

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz @unclescrappy Hey if anyone in your family is killed by someone, is than not the same. And there has been no OFFICIAL confirmation that it is a Hate Group or whatever behind this. Just Liberal Zealots like you seeing the Bogey Man behind everything.

bmarvel
bmarvel topcommenter

@unclescrappy thats'all fine, scrappy, but it doesn't answer the question. Who is it that you imagine protects you and your family day in and day out? There are those out there for whom your life, your family's lives aren't worth cold spit. Would you trust your family's safety to a society in which there is no law, no police, no courts? Or do you think we should become a nation of snipers?

unclescrappy
unclescrappy

@bmarvel @unclescrappy I certainly dont count on the Cops or Courts. They have shown over & over how incompetent they are at PREVENTING crimes. And much less prosecuting REAL criminals. Even our Federal Govt has shown they dont care about the individual men & women on the front lines protecting us from harm. They are only interested in themselves & their political infrastructure.

I fought for my country & killed others to protect this country. I was a trained sniper & was very good at it. So I do know a few things about killing, and being killed. And every human life is important to someone no matter what you think or believe about them.

bmarvel
bmarvel topcommenter

@unclescrappy "My family is the most important thing in the world. And I want them protected..."

If the thugs kill officers of the court and intimidate them from doing their job, unclecrappy, who do you suppose will be there to protect your family? You? And who do you suppose will protect you?

bmarvel
bmarvel topcommenter

unclescrappy - if the word "animals" to describe hired assassins who gun down their victim on a public street  in broad daylight makes you squeamish, please feel free to supply your own word. "Human beings" would fit only if this were the  normal and acceptable action of human beings.


bmarvel
bmarvel topcommenter

@unclescrappy As important to WHOM? To me, certainly. But that doesn't make them as important to society as  whole. 

Why do we surround the President with Secret Service protection?  Because objectively speaking his safety is important to the entire country, not just to his family.. The assassination of a prosecutor is important not because he is in himself any more or less of a human being than any other murder victim, but because his office necessarily invoves all our safety. 

If these creeps can strike down a prosecutor with impunity, they have eliminated one layer of protection between  us and lawlessness. They can strike any one of us.

Your cynical remarks on justice, though, suggest to me you can't even begin to understand this argument.   

unclescrappy
unclescrappy

@MikeWestEast @unclescrappy @bmarvel 

Love how you see other human beings as nothing more than ANIMALS. If you are correct, then what we really need is an expedited Death Penalty for more crimes. Convict them & then take them out back & shoot them or whatever. Sounds like that would be acceptable to you. Unless of course you want to keep them around to practice your circus act, you CLOWN

MikeWestEast
MikeWestEast

@unclescrappy @bmarvel  Making sure the animals know that the police and prosecutors are untouchable is the best way to protect our families.  We are in a cage with the animals and we have a thin line of people with whips and chairs keeping the animals away from us.  If the animals ever get the idea they can go after the few police and prosecutors leaving us helpless, we are dead meat.  Our families would not have a chance.  If an animal actually grasps that concept, it needs to get put down immediately.

bmarvel
bmarvel topcommenter

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz Once upon a time, Myrna, those armed hate groups were on the left. Please, let's not forget that.

GuitarPlayer
GuitarPlayer

@unclescrappy  "Just Liberal Zealots like you seeing the Bogey Man behind everything."

Oh fuck off. There are plenty of Conservatives speculating that it was the Brotherhood. 


ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@GuitarPlayer but isnt a ban on guns the same as taking them away, unless you are saying that those that own guns currently can keep them but no new purchases are allowed, but that would be silly if you are trying to ban them

GuitarPlayer
GuitarPlayer

@ScottsMerkin   I hate this whole "only criminals will have them" argument. I think the percentage of "good guys" who own guns is FAR greater than the "bad guys". And nobody is taking people's guns AWAY. That a argument based on fear used by the minority (gun lobby/NRA) to keep the majority who don't know any better in a constant state of panic. 


ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@GuitarPlayer @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz Its a lose lose proposition either way.  ban them and only the shitheads get them and still kill, keep them and most people handle their guns correctly but a few who may not be able to access guns in a ban but can now use them bc they are there.  It sucks either way

GuitarPlayer
GuitarPlayer

@ScottsMerkin @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz  "you could, but all we know is that he did carry but dont know if he was that morning.  And when you are ambushed like he was, you have no chance"

Both of you make a good point. This is where we are at in this country. 

One side says, "Hey look, he is said to have usually carried a gun everyday." And bet he was yesterday too. I doubt if everybody that knew him said a gun was on his person that it wasn't yesterday. So being armed didn't stop him from being killed. And he was also a trained officer at one time. 

Merk your side says, "Well, maybe he wasn't carrying that day." He might not have. We don't know yet. And I will say if he was and had a chance to defend himself that would have been a good thing and the VERY reason why the 2nd Amendment is important. 


But in the end.....he was probably armed and it did no good. One point for the anti-gun crowd.


ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz you could, but all we know is that he did carry but dont know if he was that morning.  And when you are ambushed like he was, you have no chance

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