Local DAs vigilant after Kaufman County murders


by HEATHER KOVAR / KVUE News and photojournalist DAVID GARDNER

Bio | Email | Follow: @HeatherK_KVUE


Posted on April 1, 2013 at 6:12 PM

Updated Monday, Apr 1 at 6:21 PM

AUSTIN -- The second killing in two months targeting the Kaufman County District Attorney's Office has prosecutors across Texas on alert.

"There is a sentiment of shock and a little bit of fear as well," Hays County District Attorney Sherri Tibbe said.

Tibbe also serves on the board of the statewide Prosecutors Association.

"We certainly are going to change things up a little bit and be extra vigilant and make sure that we don't have anything bad like that happen here," she said.

Tibbe wasn't able to say what measures were being taken. However, she said security, such as home police patrols to 24-hour security, would be provided if necessary for prosecutors during high-profile trials.

Tibbe said these types of retaliation crimes are always on the minds of public servants.

"I've been a prosecutor for many years, so I'm always vigilant. And you always worry about family members," she said.

Sergeant John Foster with the Williamson County Sheriff's Office agreed.

"Anybody in law enforcement that has been doing this for a long time knows that be it a prosecutor or a police officer, you are subject to people not liking you, people wanting to do harm to you," Foster said.

Foster says since neither of the Kaufman County murders happened at the courthouse, there's no reason to feel unsafe in one.

"If we thought we needed additional personnel at the courthouse, we would do that. But we are fully staffed at the courthouse. We are following our procedures like we do every day," he said.

Travis County officials said they could not discuss specifics of security, but said they were aware of the Kaufman County deaths and are more vigilant.

Tibbe says what they're really focusing on right now is "catching the people who did this." She said her office would help in any way it can. Tibbe said they've sent $500 to a reward fund for Mark Hasse, the Kaufman County assistant district attorney killed in January and said they will do the same for the district attorney and his wife.