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Son of slain DA says guns put away before killing

WORTHAM, Texas (AP) – Slain Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland kept a gun “in every room of his house” but couldn’t reach one when his killer or killers came into his home Easter weekend because he had put the weapons away just hours before to protect visitors, his son said in an interview published Tuesday.

“They had a party the night before and he gathered up all his guns and put them away in a bag so that his guests didn’t stumble across them,” J.R. McLelland told The Dallas Morning News (

J.R. McLelland and his sister, Krista Ball, told the newspaper they learned about the party after the fact from another family member and had no details.

Mike McLelland and his wife Cynthia were found shot to death March 30. The slayings occurred two months after Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse was gunned down outside the county courthouse.

No arrests have been made in either case.

J.R. McLelland said he believes that, had the weapons been in their normal spots, his father likely would have tried to reach one of several he kept in the living room. That’s where Cynthia McLelland’s body was found.

“He kept a gun by every chair,” J.R. McLelland said. “He kept one on both sides of the TV, there was a shotgun hanging on the back of the couch and two by his bed.”

Ball said her father’s life-long passion for guns makes the killings particularly difficult to accept.

“Dad used to take us shooting, even when we were little bitty things,” she said. “We were always around guns. If you had said he died of heart attack, we could understand that because he did have heart problems.”

J.R. McLelland agreed.

“That was the hardest thing about this whole deal to me,” he said. “Just knowing that he died from being shot, that’s hard to take.”


Information from: The Dallas Morning News,

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