A former justice of the peace in North Texas, who was sentenced to death in 2014 for killing a district attorney’s wife in a revenge plot that left three people dead, is asking for a new death penalty trial, according to reports.
The Dallas Morning News reported that attorneys for Eric Williams claim in a 169-page filing they did not have time to review the evidence and prepare for trial, which led to his conviction.
He also claims he was tried before a biased judge, adding that holding a trial in Rockwall County had no effect on providing him with a fair trial.
Williams was convicted of capital murder Dec. 4, 2014, for the deaths of Cynthia McLelland, who was killed along with her husband, and Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland, in their home east of Dallas. Williams was also convicted of killing prosecutor Mark Hasse.
Williams had lost his job and law license after McLelland and Hasse prosecuted him for theft and burglary.
Authorities said Williams was upset because the prosecutor’s office had pursued charges alleging that he stole some county-owned computer equipment.
Prosecutors claimed the conviction pushed Williams over the edge, and during his trial, they presented evidence that he paid a friend to rent a storage unit where he kept more than 30 guns, police tactical gear and a getaway car.
In January 2013, Williams, wearing a mask and tactical gear, gunned down Hasse outside a courthouse building in broad daylight.
Prosecutors said a “masked assassin,” who they identified as Williams, approached Hasse as he was walking to work. The two shoved each other, Hasse pleaded and yelled he was sorry, then was shot several times.
Two months later, Williams stormed into the rural home of the McLellands before shooting both the DA and his wife over a dozen times.
Williams’ wife, Kim, was accused of, and pleaded guilty to, helping him carry out the killings. During Williams’ trial, Kim testified that she drove the getaway car in Hasse’s death and helped Williams’ dispose of the weapons in the murders of the McLellands.
Kim also testified that Williams had a hit list with other names including District Judge Glen Ashworth and Kaufman County District Attorney Erleigh Norville Wiley.
She was later sentenced to 40 years for her role.
Williams has made several appeals to overturn the death sentence, including one where he said his brain was broken.
In another appeal, the publication noted, Williams stated he wanted revenge against “a few politicians who ruined his life.”
A North District of Texas federal judge will hold a hearing on the latest request from Williams this Tuesday, the publication reported.