Federal Prosecutor Reportedly Withdraws From Major Gang Case Out Of Fear For Safety

DeptofJusticeThe murders of two prosecutors in Kaufman County, Texas has caused heightened security measures to protect court staff and prosecutors. However, few expected those concerns to lead to the withdrawal of a federal prosecutor in Houston. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Hileman has reportedly announced that he will withdraw from a case out of personal safety concerns. If true, it is a rare case for a federal prosecutor to refuse to litigate a case out of fear.

Defense attorney Richard Ely expressed understanding for Hileman’s unwillingness to put himself at risk in the case against the Aryan Brotherhood. There have been warnings that the white supremacist group might try to retaliate for the prosecution. However, no one has been able to pinpoint the source of these rumors.

Last Saturday, District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia, were found shot to death in their home and two months earlier, felony prosecutor Mark Hasse was gunned down in a parking lot near the county courthouse.

About the time of Hasse’s killing, Hileman received protection from the U.S. Marshal service. Many prosecutors are likely to view Hileman’s decision harshly since threats are unfortunately common for prosecutors. Scott Burns, executive director for the National District Attorneys Association, told reporters that “there are 40,000 prosecutors in the country, and anyone who has spent some time trying a case will probably tell you that they receive threats all the time . . . This is unfortunately something we deal with all the time. The only good news is that to be murdered because of your position as a prosecutor is still very (unlikely).”

By withdrawing, Hileman will require another prosecutor to step forward to carry out these duties. It also suggests that the Justice Department cannot protect its staff, which leaves the agency looking like its counterparts in drug cartel countries. The Justice Department has not given any information on the connection to these other cases of state prosecutors or how the department will proceed if a prosecutor was refusing to serve out of concern for his personal safety.

Source: Dallas Morning News

60 thoughts on “Federal Prosecutor Reportedly Withdraws From Major Gang Case Out Of Fear For Safety”

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  3. nick spinelli 1, April 4, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    Bron, The Aryan Brotherhood are seeing the dreaded miscegenation right before their eyes. While still powerful and ruthless, prison folks say they are losing some of their power in prison, which is their purview. They may need some publicity to increase their prison cred.
    I hear “inuendo” is an Italian word for Preparation H.

    The other side of the gumshoe coin:

    Some legal experts are saying the assassination of public officials is out of character for the ABT, though, and members themselves are balking at being blamed for the crime, the LA Times reports.

    “There is some grumbling among the ABT from sources I have. They feel like they’re being blamed for this, that they’re being set up,” Houston-based criminal justice consultant Terry Pelz told the Times.

    The ABT, which isn’t part of the larger, California-based Aryan Brotherhood, formed in the 1980s and has a paramilitary structure that stresses obedience and loyalty. The group is known for killing people who try to leave — not murdering civilians or law enforcement.

    In fact, attacking senior law enforcement would probably backfire on a prison gang.

    “That’s going to bring the heat on you,” UCLA law professor and gang expert Jorja Leap told the Times. “Long-running gangs on the street are smart enough to know their own limits and don’t cross them. The ones that go crazy are the ones that don’t survive.”

    The murder of Kaufman County DA Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia, just two months after Assistant DA Mark Hasse was killed has cast a spotlight on the prison gang their office prosecuted, but police are investigating other possible suspects.

    One other “person of interest” is reportedly a disgruntled public official who was fired and then allegedly threatened both McLelland and Hasse.

    (Aryan Brotherhood Of Texas Says It’s Being ‘Set Up’ For Prosecutors’ Murders).

  4. Anon – You say the time is coming, and I hope you are right – but that is not what the evidence seems to support. Despite abuse after abuse – no one seems to be punished. In fact, rather than address incidents of abuse, as we have seen many times on this blog, the authorities have decided to punish anyone trying to “photograph” or “record” such abuse.

  5. Mark G:

    As far as I know a US attorney is more of a leadership position within a federal district and the worker bees of the office are the assistant US Attys. I believe there is one US attorney per judicial district. It is a similar situation where a county has a prosecutor as the administrator and the ones who do the cases are deputy prosecutors.

  6. Anonymously Yours 1, April 4, 2013 at 12:06 pm


    I agree…. And to make matters worse some are being targeted just because of association….

    The indictment language called it “conspiracy” … you know, legal conspiracy theories.

  7. The feds are bulling another fellow a la Swartz:

    The federal government on Thursday jailed Earth Liberation Front activist Daniel McGowan in response to an article he wrote for The Huffington Post, his wife Jenny Synan said. The HuffPost story, which was published April 1, charged the Federal Bureau of Prisons, citing documents McGowan had obtained, with transferring him to a high security prison unit in order to restrict his political speech during his incarceration.

    (Daniel McGowan Jailed, Allegedly For Writing Huffington Post Blog). As my comment up-thread, citing the Daily Beast article shows, the ABT was being prosecuted on various conspiracy theories.

    If they are striking back by killing DA’s it is because they have “lost it” and don’t know what else to do.

  8. Bron, The Aryan Brotherhood are seeing the dreaded miscegenation right before their eyes. While still powerful and ruthless, prison folks say they are losing some of their power in prison, which is their purview. They may need some publicity to increase their prison cred.

  9. I did a lot more research and the best I could come up with is that Hileman is at most an ASSISTANT U.S. Attorney. In fact, I could not find his name on any of the DOJ USA pages for Texas and he did not show up on the DOJ’s search engine.

    Is this a lawyer thing? Are USA’s and Asst. USA’s interchangeable? Or is the media hyping this, ratcheting up his title to make it sound like a bigger deal? Or has the DOJ not updated their website since Bush left office?

  10. ‘Mass Casualties Or Death’: Texas Authorities Warned Of Aryan Brotherhood Months Before Killings

    Posted: 04/04/2013 11:02 am EDT | Updated: 04/04/2013 11:02 am EDT



    “Authorities in Texas cautioned that a white supremacist prison gang might seek “mass casualties or death” as retaliation for the arrests of 34 members, months before two prosecutors were killed, ABC News reports.

    According to the network:

    The December 2012 bulletin, obtained by ABC News, warned that “high ranking members of the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas are involved in issuing orders to inflict ‘mass casualties or death’ to law enforcement officials involved in the recent case.”

    The bulletin said “the plan is designed to be carried out when law enforcement officers are at large gatherings.” It warned that the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas was “proactively working toward developing personal information about officers involved in the recent arrest of Aryan Brotherhood of Texas members,” and was carrying out surveillance of the officers.”

  11. Swarthmore mom 1, April 4, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    http://www.businessinsider.com/krugman-david-stockman-is-just-a-cranky-old-man-2013-3 Dredd, I will take Krugman over Stockman in that battle.
    Some battle.

    I like Krugman best too, but at least Stockman resigned from the Reagan Admin. when the Reaganoids came up with “deficits don’t matter.”

    Now, back to prosecution city …

    The DOJ prosecutors like to bully guys like Aaron Swartz, but they run like hell when reality stops in for a visit and they begin to die because some folks can’t be bullied.

  12. I agree completely with Gene H. and others. I personally have lost faith in this system. I fail to see why anyone would risk their life to be a prosecutor. As others have expressed, the Court system and government here have completely lost the moral high ground. They have been completely compromised. Why should a prosecutor risk his life for a system that does not value his life at all – certainly not as much as the donations and private jets used to take the politicians to parties.

    Voltaic makes a very good point. HSBC laundered billions of dollars of terrorist money over many years – money that has likely led to many thousands of deaths and atrocities – many more than all criminal gangs in this country added together – and yet they walk with a fine much smaller than the profits they made and a deferred prosecution agreement. Just another expense item – the cost of doing business.

    I struggle to understand why anyone would be willing to join the army of the police – other than for economic reasons if they have no other options. Why risk your life for a system that has completely sold out – that has no sense of true justice, and that could not care less about the poor fools it ropes in to be its enforcers and foot slaves.

    For me, Obama was the “last straw”. In my opinion, Mr. Hope and Change has demonstrated that he is neither. He is complete narcissist interested only in his own personal gain (both power and then later money). Despite all his bull shit rhetoric while on the campaign trail – money still rules his administration. The revolving door with lobbyists is still fully functional, rooms in the White House are still for sale – as is his attention. Not one single financial institution has been found guilty of anything – not one CEO has even lost their job – certainly no prosecutions. If it sounds like I feel betrayed and lied to, I do. I am not naive, I expected allot of what he said to be bull shit — just a little surprised that all of it was.

    Perhaps more disappointing, I see no one in either party that is any different. They are all the same. For the first time ever this year, I didn’t vote. What is the point? It may be “my duty” but why bother pick between two equals? This is not choice.

    A couple of years ago, I was selected for Jury duty for a felony DUI. When asked if I could judge the case fairly on the evidence provided, I said no. The judge called me in after excusing the rest to ask why – I told him I have spent 20 years involved in litigation and I knew that I would not be presented all the evidence so I would have to “go with my gut”. I was excused.

    This completely corrupt system is not worth my time, let alone my life or the lives of my family. I would not serve on the jury hearing that case and if forced to, I would vote not guilty regardless of the evidence presented to me. I think that prosecutor made the right choice.

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