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Bail set at $3 million for former Texas justice charged with making 'terroristic threat'

Authorities have arrested 46-year old Eric Williams for making a "terroristic threat" after searching his home.  Williams is the former justice of the peace in  Kaufman County, Texas, a position he lost last year when the District Attorney's office convicted him of theft. NBC's Lester Holt reports.

A former justice of the peace in the North Texas county where a district attorney and his wife were found dead in their home in March has been arrested and charged with making a “terroristic threat,” authorities said Saturday.

Eric Lyle Williams, 46, was arrested and booked into the Kaufman County Jail in the predawn hours Saturday, according to jail records. Williams was arraigned Saturday morning and charged with one count of making a terroristic threat and two counts of insufficient bond.

It was not clear to whom the threat was directed.

Williams was being held on $3 million bond, the Kaufman County Sheriff’s Department said.

Authorities continue to investigate the deaths of District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife Cynthia, who were discovered fatally shot March 30 in the small town of Forney. Investigators also continue to probe the death a month earlier of Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse.


Williams has not been named as a suspect in any of the deaths.

Local, state, and federal law enforcement officers conducted a search of Williams’ home on Friday. An affidavit underlying the search warrant has been ordered sealed, sheriff's department spokesman Lt. Justin Lewis said.

And Saturday night, NBCDFW.com reported that agents were searching a self-storage facility in the town of Seagoville but wouldn't say whether the activity was part of the McLelland and Hasse cases. Agents could be seen searching a car found in a unit there, NBCDFW.com reported.

Williams was kicked out of office and had his law license suspended after being convicted of theft. He is appealing his conviction.

Williams’ attorney David Sergi release a statement on Friday saying that his client “has cooperated with law enforcement and vigorously denies any and all allegations.”

Williams said that he had nothing to do with the McLelland’s death and denied owning a gun in an interview earlier this month with NBC affiliate KXAS.

“If I was in their shoes, I would want to talk to me,” Williams said at the time. “In the investigators’ mind, they want to check with me to do their process of elimination.”

Williams said in the interview that he had given investigators his cellphone after being contacted by them hours after the McLellands’ bodies were found.

“I’ve cooperated with law enforcement,” Williams said in April. “I certainly wish them the best in bringing justice to this incredibly egregious act.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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