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Courthouse Security Increased As Search Continues For Killers

David Chong

County authorities say the FBI, Texas Rangers, Department of Public Safety, and other agencies have joined the murder investigation of prosecutor Mark Hasse. Security at the county courthouse has also been stepped following yesterday’s shooting.

Just one day after one or two gunmen ambushed assistant district attorney Hasse, additional law enforcement guarded the Kaufman County Courthouse. Cassi Carter, who works in a judge’s office, said some employees inside like her were on edge.

“They’re trying to take new measures but, I mean, I’m still scared. You just don’t think it’s going to happen in our small town,” said Carter.

Kaufman County public defender Andrew Jordan, who worked closely with Hasse, said he wasn't worried for his own safety, but acknowledged everyone was feeling a little jittery.

“It seems that this was an isolated incident targeted at Mr.Hasse so I don’t know that anyone feels threatened. But yeah, I think everyone’s being more cautious,” said Jordan.

County authorities say they believe Mr. Hasse was the only target of the gunmen who wore dark clothing and sped away in an older silver sedan. Officials here say they plan to look at any surveillance video that may help identify the suspects. They’re also looking into possible retaliation linked to cases Hasse has prosecuted or investigated.

Kaufman police chief Chris Aulbaugh all but discounted speculation that the county’s involvement in the prosecution of the Aryan Brotherhood was somehow linked to Hasse’s murder.

“We had no indication that Mr. Hasse had directly worked any cases recently that were directly related to Aryan Brotherhood," said Aulbaugh. "If a case he worked had an individual tie somewhere, we’re going to dig down and look.”

Officials are asking for information from the public. The reward for information leading to a conviction has now climbed to more than $71,000.