Mike McClelland, the elected District Attorney of Kaufman County (and a former co-worker of mine at the Dallas County Public Defender’s Office) was gunned down along with his wife Cynthia in his home Friday night or Saturday morning in Forney, TX.

As I said above, I worked with Mike. Our professional paths didn’t cross too much at the PD’s office. He handled competency and civil commitment cases and I tried to handle all my own clients with mental health issues myself. But I did ask Mike questions from time to time and we passed each other in the halls a few times, exchanging pleasantries.

Last year a case took me to Kaufman county. I was in the courtroom talking to the Assistant District Attorney on my case and the public defender’s office came up. They reminded me that their boss had been my coworker. On the off chance that he might have time to sit down and catch up, I walked up to his office. I expected to be told he was too busy – or maybe to get a minute or two of his time, but instead I spent nearly an hour sitting in his office, talking about old times, characters we each knew, laughing about the crazy politics of Dallas county… It was a delight. He was a truly kind man. I remember how his laughter filled the room.

And then I saw him on TV vowing that a day of reckoning was coming for ADA Mark Hasse’s killer(s). He was standing up for what was right. He was flashing his righteous anger. I worried for him then, but then time passed and nothing happened. I stopped thinking about it. Then early Saturday morning I saw the article about his shocking, senseless murder.

He was a good man. I never met his wife but I’ve heard nothing but good things. I wish them peace. And justice.

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