In the Nation

Posted: April 19, 2013

Ex-official held in Texas deaths

KAUFMAN, Texas - A former Texas justice of the peace seeking revenge for a theft conviction that ended his judicial career carried out a plot with his wife to kill the men who prosecuted him, authorities said Thursday.

Eric Lyle Williams, and his wife, Kim Williams, are charged with capital murder in the slayings of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland, his wife, Cynthia, and assistant prosecutor Mark Hasse.

Hasse and McLelland successfully prosecuted Eric Williams for theft last year, leading him to lose his law license and his position as justice of the peace - a judge who handles mostly administrative duties.

Authorities allege Eric Williams, 46, was the gunman in each slaying. They say his wife, also 46, who was arrested and charged Wednesday, was the get-away driver when her husband shot Hasse in January. They say she was a passenger when her husband drove to the McLelland home to carry out those killings March 30. - AP

3 killed, 8 hurt in N.Y. crash

BRANT, N.Y. - A van carrying 10 people home from a Florida vacation drifted off the New York State Thruway on Thursday and rear-ended a state-owned truck moving slowly alongside the highway outside Buffalo, killing a father, his 1-month-old son, and a woman passenger, state police said.

A third adult and six other children in the van were injured, as was the driver of the Thruway Authority truck that was hit around 7:45 a.m. on Interstate 90 in Erie County, Capt. Douglas Montijo said.

The truck was traveling about 2 m.p.h. along the shoulder as it followed two workers picking up trash in the median, Montijo said. There were no indications that van driver Luis Arroyo, 27, touched the brakes before hitting the back of the truck, which was mounted with a lighted arrow board, he said. Killed were Arroyo, Luis Jr., and Christieann Gonzalez, 29. - AP

Rough weather hits Midwest

ST. LOUIS - A powerful spring storm system stretching from southern Texas to northern Michigan unleashed a wave of weather extremes on the Midwest on Thursday, wreaking havoc from the Rockies to the Rust Belt.

Up to a foot of snow was expected in Minnesota and the Dakotas. Snow and ice closed highways in Colorado and Wyoming. Rivers surged beyond their banks in Missouri, Iowa, and Illinois. Tornadoes caused damage in Oklahoma. Hail caused a wreck that injured a teacher and her students. Rain caused a sinkhole that devoured three cars in Chicago. - AP

Elsewhere:

A 75-year-old Detroit-area woman convicted of murder in the shooting of her grandson was sentenced to at least 22 years in prison Thursday. Sandra Layne got a minimum 20 years for second-degree murder, and a mandatory two-year sentence for using a gun to kill Jonathan Hoffman, 17. A jury in March rejected her claim of self-defense.

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