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DA slain in his home had kept himself armed

  • This undated photo taken from the Kaufman County, Texas, website shows Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland. McLelland and his wife were found killed in their house, Saturday, March 30, 2013, two months after one of his assistants was gunned down near their office, authorities said. (AP Photo/Kaufman County)

    This undated photo taken from the Kaufman County, Texas, website shows Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland. McLelland and his wife were found killed in their house, Saturday, March 30, 2013, two months after one of his assistants was gunned down near their office, authorities said. (AP Photo/Kaufman County)

  • Kaufman County Sheriff David Byrnes speaks at a news conference, Sunday, March 31, 2013, in Kaufman, Texas. On Saturday, Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia, were murdered in their home. (AP Photo/Mike Fuentes)

    Kaufman County Sheriff David Byrnes speaks at a news conference, Sunday, March 31, 2013, in Kaufman, Texas. On Saturday, Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia, were murdered in their home. (AP Photo/Mike Fuentes)

  • In this Saturday, March 30, 2013 photo, police block off Blarney Stone Road in Forney, Texas, where Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and wife Cynthia McLelland were found dead in their home near Forney, Texas. (AP Photo/The Dallas Morning News, Ian C. Bates) MANDATORY CREDIT; MAGS OUT; TV OUT; INTERNET OUT; AP MEMBERS ONLY

    In this Saturday, March 30, 2013 photo, police block off Blarney Stone Road in Forney, Texas, where Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and wife Cynthia McLelland were found dead in their home near Forney, Texas. (AP Photo/The Dallas Morning News, Ian C. Bates) MANDATORY CREDIT; MAGS OUT; TV OUT; INTERNET OUT; AP MEMBERS ONLY

  • In this Saturday, March 30, 2013 photo, caution tape surrounds the home of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and wife Cynthia McLelland who were found dead in their home near Forney, Texas. (AP Photo/The Dallas Morning News, Ian C. Bates) MANDATORY CREDIT; MAGS OUT; TV OUT; INTERNET USE BY AP MEMBERS ONLY; NO SALES

    In this Saturday, March 30, 2013 photo, caution tape surrounds the home of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and wife Cynthia McLelland who were found dead in their home near Forney, Texas. (AP Photo/The Dallas Morning News, Ian C. Bates) MANDATORY CREDIT; MAGS OUT; TV OUT; INTERNET USE BY AP MEMBERS ONLY; NO SALES

  • Kaufman County Sheriff David Byrnes, center, speaks at a news conference, Sunday, March 31, 2013, in Kaufman, Texas. On Saturday, Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia, were murdered in their home. (AP Photo/Mike Fuentes)

    Kaufman County Sheriff David Byrnes, center, speaks at a news conference, Sunday, March 31, 2013, in Kaufman, Texas. On Saturday, Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia, were murdered in their home. (AP Photo/Mike Fuentes)

  • Kaufman County Sheriff David Byrnes, right, speaks at a news conference, Sunday, March 31, 2013, in Kaufman, Texas. On Saturday, Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia, were murdered in their home. (AP Photo/Mike Fuentes)

    Kaufman County Sheriff David Byrnes, right, speaks at a news conference, Sunday, March 31, 2013, in Kaufman, Texas. On Saturday, Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia, were murdered in their home. (AP Photo/Mike Fuentes)

  • This photo taken Feb. 2, 2013 shows Cynthia McLelland, wife of District Attorney Mike McLelland, posing for a portrait in Kaufman, Texas. On Saturday, March 30, 2013, Kaufman County  District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife Cynthia were found shot to death in their rural home just outside the town of Forney, Texas, about 20 miles from Dallas. (AP Photo/The Dallas Morning News, Ian C. Bates) MANDATORY CREDIT; NO SALES; MAGS OUT; TV OUT; INTERNET USE BY AP MEMBERS ONLY

    This photo taken Feb. 2, 2013 shows Cynthia McLelland, wife of District Attorney Mike McLelland, posing for a portrait in Kaufman, Texas. On Saturday, March 30, 2013, Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife Cynthia were found shot to death in their rural home just outside the town of Forney, Texas, about 20 miles from Dallas. (AP Photo/The Dallas Morning News, Ian C. Bates) MANDATORY CREDIT; NO SALES; MAGS OUT; TV OUT; INTERNET USE BY AP MEMBERS ONLY

  • This undated photo taken from the Kaufman County, Texas, website shows Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland. McLelland and his wife were found killed in their house, Saturday, March 30, 2013, two months after one of his assistants was gunned down near their office, authorities said. (AP Photo/Kaufman County)
  • Kaufman County Sheriff David Byrnes speaks at a news conference, Sunday, March 31, 2013, in Kaufman, Texas. On Saturday, Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia, were murdered in their home. (AP Photo/Mike Fuentes)
  • In this Saturday, March 30, 2013 photo, police block off Blarney Stone Road in Forney, Texas, where Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and wife Cynthia McLelland were found dead in their home near Forney, Texas. (AP Photo/The Dallas Morning News, Ian C. Bates) MANDATORY CREDIT; MAGS OUT; TV OUT; INTERNET OUT; AP MEMBERS ONLY
  • In this Saturday, March 30, 2013 photo, caution tape surrounds the home of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and wife Cynthia McLelland who were found dead in their home near Forney, Texas. (AP Photo/The Dallas Morning News, Ian C. Bates) MANDATORY CREDIT; MAGS OUT; TV OUT; INTERNET USE BY AP MEMBERS ONLY; NO SALES
  • Kaufman County Sheriff David Byrnes, center, speaks at a news conference, Sunday, March 31, 2013, in Kaufman, Texas. On Saturday, Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia, were murdered in their home. (AP Photo/Mike Fuentes)
  • Kaufman County Sheriff David Byrnes, right, speaks at a news conference, Sunday, March 31, 2013, in Kaufman, Texas. On Saturday, Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia, were murdered in their home. (AP Photo/Mike Fuentes)
  • This photo taken Feb. 2, 2013 shows Cynthia McLelland, wife of District Attorney Mike McLelland, posing for a portrait in Kaufman, Texas. On Saturday, March 30, 2013, Kaufman County  District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife Cynthia were found shot to death in their rural home just outside the town of Forney, Texas, about 20 miles from Dallas. (AP Photo/The Dallas Morning News, Ian C. Bates) MANDATORY CREDIT; NO SALES; MAGS OUT; TV OUT; INTERNET USE BY AP MEMBERS ONLY

Texas’s Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland took no chances after one of his assistant prosecutors was gunned down two months ago. McLelland said he carried a gun everywhere he went and was extra careful when answering the door at his home.

“I’m ahead of everybody else because, basically, I’m a soldier,” the 23-year Army veteran said in an interview less than two weeks ago.

On Saturday, he and his wife were found shot to death in their rural home just outside the town of Forney, about 20 miles from Dallas.

While investigators gave no motive for the killings, Forney Mayor Darren Rozell said: “It appears this was not a random act.”

“Everybody’s a little on edge and a little shocked,” he said.

The slayings came less than two weeks after Colorado’s prison chief was shot to death at his front door, apparently by an ex-convict, and a couple of months after Kaufman County Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse was killed in a parking lot a block from his courthouse office. No arrests have been made in Hasse’s Jan. 31 slaying.

McLelland, 63, is the 13th prosecutor killed in the U.S. since the National Association of District Attorneys began keeping count in the 1960s.

Sheriff David Byrnes would not give details yesterday of how the killings unfolded and said there was nothing to indicate for certain whether the DA’s slaying was connected to Hasse’s.

El Paso County, Colo., sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Joe Roybal said investigators had found no evidence so far connecting the Texas killings to the Colorado case, but added: “We’re examining all possibilities.”

Colorado’s corrections director, Tom Clements, was killed March 19 when he answered the doorbell at his home outside Colorado Springs. Evan Spencer Ebel, a white supremacist and former Colorado inmate suspected of shooting Clements, died in a shootout with Texas deputies two days later about 100 miles from Kaufman.

McLelland, elected DA in 2010, said his office had prosecuted several cases against racist gangs, who have a strong presence around Kaufman County, a mostly rural area dotted with subdivisions, with a population of about 104,000.

“We put some real dents in the Aryan Brotherhood around here in the past year,” he said.

In recent years, the DA’s office also prosecuted a case in which a justice of the peace was found guilty of theft and burglary and another case in which a man was convicted of killing his former girlfriend and her 10-year-old daughter.

McLelland said he carried a gun everywhere, even to walk his dog around town, a bedroom community for the Dallas area. He figured assassins were more likely to try to attack him outside. He said he had warned all his employees to be constantly on the alert.

“The people in my line of work are going to have to get better at it,” he said of dealing with the danger, “because they’re going to need it more in the future.”

The number of attacks on prosecutors, judges and senior law enforcement officers in the U.S. has spiked in the past three years, according to Glenn McGovern, an investigator with the Santa Clara County, Calif., district attorney’s office who tracks such cases.

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