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”

  1. frankly:

    A skinhead is a white supremicist/neo-nazi who may or may not be a member of the Aryan Brotherhood. Just in case you didnt know.

    Are there Mexican drug cartels that operate in the US? How am I being predjudice for stating a fact? It wouldnt be a bad guess to think drugs may be involved in this whether white, Asian, black or Hispanic.

    Or do you only think white Christians sell drugs and murder people?

  2. Frankly, Like the same white supremacists in east Texas that dragged James Byrd behind their truck and killed him.

  3. Bron, sorry to bust your bubble of prejudices – oh, who am I kidding I love doing it, you just make it too easy – But these suspected group is Christian white supremacists. You know, good old boys who park their pickups with the “Don’t renig 2012” bumper stickers outside the curch on Sunday

  4. Gene, i really don’t think that public sentiment will ever flow toward the Aryan brotherhood.

  5. From the article, Bron: “When that indictment was handed down, the Houston Chronicle reported that the ABT has about 2,600 members in Texas prisons and another 180 in federal prisons, far surpassing their predecessors in size and stature.

    “Brutal beatings, fire bombings, drug trafficking and murder are all part of ABT’s alleged standard operating procedures,” as assistant U.S. attorney said when the charges were announced. “ABT used violence and threats of violence to maintain internal discipline and retaliate against those believed to be cooperating with law enforcement.”

    “The ABT doesn’t play. They have chapters in every Texas prison and all across the feds. They are known to be brutal, deadly and effective,” said one current prisoner in the Texas system with knowledge of the group.

    The Southern Poverty Law Center reports that the ABT is known to have carried out about 100 killings and 10 kidnappings since it was founded in the 1980s. Leaders of the gang have instructed members to kill other members who have cooperated with law enforcement—and to bring back a finger to prove it.

    “You don’t snitch on the ABT,” the prisoner says. “Retaliation is immediate. They don’t like anything to interfere with their business interests, which includes running meth labs outside prison walls” to sell on the inside, where limited supply means much higher prices.

  6. Gene,

    You have it right…. This is just the beginning….. In some of the areas of conflict they had started with the royal courts….. Anarchy…. Could it be far behind…..


    Recall kent state…. Neither side is justified but each is right….in its own mind…. Take the prosecutor in Wisconsin that prosecuted a 6 year old for playing doctor…. Why….

  7. this is either mexican drug cartels or skin heads trying to intimidate.

  8. When banksters and the corporate kleptocracy can so easily commit violent financial crimes without penalty, it just gives the murderous class of criminal that much more disregard for the law and its representatives. Human life seems to be graded differently. When a barbaric gang member kills a lawyer, it’s high crime worthy of uppermost penalty (and it is), but when a bankster supports gangs by laundering money and ignoring the law, which leads to the death of untold numbers, it’s just a matter of doing business. There is no justification for killing innocents, but you can’t expect human life and the law to be respected when so much financial crime is ignored (often rewarded) and only the poor and easy pickings pay any price behind bars.

  9. rafflaw and Darren,

    I agree with both of you, and was afraid to put into words the very analysis that rafflaw has stated quite eloquently.
    I didn’t know the history on that point either – how the the most despicable elements in society, ones that wouldn’t garner much public support, would be the first to start doing this as the government presses too hard on all the people, but that it may actually be a harbinger of a public system wide response to such too-aggressive and unfair legislation and enforcement.
    It is when a more centrist demographic starts doing the same, then we will know this is not just an out of control criminal element that is being pushed too far.
    Perhaps even the criminal element knows injustice and denial of due process when it sees it, i.e., ‘sure you can prosecute me, and I will take my licks because I was a bad boy, but you damn well better do it the right way and not cheat under the rules, if the stakes are going to be that high.’
    An alternate analysis on these attacks is begged, because criminal elements have been prosecuted forever, and death threats on prosecutors have existed forever, but a trend of carrying them out has not.

  10. Darren,
    You are right that this guy blinking makes it harder for the next prosecutor. And more dangerous.

  11. Maybe he saw something surrounding the case that told him: “You have 20 seconds to leave this case.” Didn’t these types of criminal activity transpire during the mafia era of the 1950s or 1960s?

  12. One of the worst things you can do in dealing with the crazy criminal element, at least individually, is to show weakness or back down when you go face to face with them. It only invites a personal attack against you. That is not to say be antagonistic but show strength.

    If this prosecutor didn’t have the fortitude to nandle the case, not making a judgement against this person but just being practical, they should have made up some cock and bull story they had a family emergency and he had to go hand the case over to someone else. By showing fear and trepidation, the next prosecutor somewhere or even there is going to be more likely to be threatened or challenged.

  13. raff,

    Actually after reading this story and a couple of others I almost sent the GBs and the Prof an email about because I didn’t want to bring it up “in camera”, however, since it has breached . . .

    This could be the beginning of the true discord. Prosecutors were some of the first victims of the French Revolution. It was always going to be those most prone to violence to start this kind of thing, but soon this kind of thing may become more common and the perpetrators less what “you’d expect” – simply people tired of being screwed over by a system that is manifestly broken. Over the last three years, we’ve already seen several cases where judges, prosecutors and attorneys were killed over civil cases. As the social fabric fails, the first waves of violence are naturally going to be where the public has the greatest nexus with the judiciary and the executive function of law enforcement.

    So are these kinds of events isolated exceptions or is there a discernible trend forming of making the government’s employees targets? Are corporate targets far behind? We’ll see. Rage against the machine eventually gets directed at the parts of the machine and usually first. It is simply the Tao of things.

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