Security was visible in Kaufman County Monday as courthouse employees returned to work less than 48 hours after learning the top prosecutor here and his wife had been murdered.
Mike McLelland's death comes less than 2 months after the murder of Mark Hasse, one of his assistant prosecutors, and miles away at the Harris County Courthouse, where district attorney Mike Anderson is now under 24 hour guard, a spokesperson described the atmosphere inside the state's largest district attorney's office.
"I think the mood is tense," said Sara Marie Kinney. "It's sad to lose someone in your community. This office is known for working well with other offices across the state, so many of our prosecutors and investigators know the people up in Kaufman."
Anderson is no longer doing interviews. Neither is Sheriff Adrian Garcia, who offered Anderson the additional security Saturday night, shortly learning of the double slaying.
Nearly 20 shell cases were found at the McLelland crime scene, but other than that, authorities are not saying much about the investigation.
That was not the case after Hasse's murder. Back then, McLelland, Hasse's boss, raised the possibility a white supremacist gang killed his colleague. McLelland said his office has prosecuted several cases against racist gangs, gangs that have been investigated and prosecuted right here in Harris County.
According to a November 2012 news release from the FBI, McLelland's office was one of several agencies responsible for the indictments of 34 alleged members of the Aryan Brotherhood.
Also on the list: Harris County's district attorney's office and sheriff's department, as well as the Montgomery County district attorney's office and sheriff's office, Waller County sheriff's department, and police departments in Houston, Baytown and Alvin.
"I think there's been some concern that this is linked to the Aryan Brotherhood," Kinney said. "We don't have any evidence of that right now. It could be anything at this point."
Prosecutors send a lot of criminals to prison. Still, over the last century only 14 have been killed.
Kaufman County has lost two of them in just two months, a statistic so jarring, Don Clark, the former head of Houston's FBI office, says additional precautions are a must.
"I think that's a wise thing to do because you don't know," Clark said, "And I suppose there's been some collection of information and activity that's gone on, even within the last 24 hours,