KAUFMAN COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) – The Kaufman County Crime Stoppers board has voted to return the six-figure reward fund that was set aside for information on three high-profile murders.
By the time former Justice of the Peace Eric Williams and his wife, Kim, were arrested the reward fund for information on the murders of Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse and District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia, had grown to more than $100,000.
Officials with the Crime Stoppers board felt it was police work, not tips that led to the suspected murderers. Kaufman County Crime Stoppers President Tassie Gamble said, "There were no tips that came in that were actually paid out that were verified as anything that demanded any type of reward money for them."
Eric and Kim are charged with capital murder in the McLelland murders and slaying of Hasse.
Gamble said since it was old-fashioned investigation that closed the case, no reward money will be paid. "The crime, the murders, all three of them were solved due to the law enforcement and their investigation. So, what we did is we released the letters of credit that we had brought in from pledges, back to the people that had pledged them."
The fund for information on the three murders had grown to one of the largest in North Texas history. In addition to five-figure donations by the Dallas County District Attorney's Office and a private donor, donations came in from across the country. But Gamble explained there was very little actual money to draw from. "A big portion of that was actually pledged money. The majority of it actually was pledged money, it wasn't actual cash on hand," she said.
Gamble said there were some positive things that came out of the search for the Kaufman murderer and solicitations for the reward fund. "We have received more tips and I think people have become more aware of what we do and why we exist. And we have received more tips on other crimes that have been committed, not only in our county but also throughout the state."
While the lion's share of the money collected will be returned, a small portion will remain in the Kaufman County Crime Stoppers program.