Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

Local News

April 5, 2013

Local DA friends with slain DA

By LIBBY CLUETT

Many grieved, at Thursday’s public memorial service, the loss of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia.

Both were found shot to death Saturday in their home near Forney, about 20 miles east of Dallas.

Mourners extend throughout the state and include Palo Pinto County District Attorney Mike Burns, who will attend the funeral and burial of his longtime friends, which takes place today in Wortham, Texas.

“On Saturday, when I got the news that [McLelland] had been murdered and Cynthia had been murdered, I was just totally devastated,” Burns said. He said McLelland was a longtime friend and former law partner. “And, three or four days later, I still haven't gotten the sick feeling out of my stomach. I've lost a dear friend, and they broke the mold when they made him. I'll never have a friend like him again. I think it's tragic, and it's a tragic commentary on our society today, too.”

Burns not only had two criminal trials to prosecute this week, but was contacted early in the week by the national press for comment on the shooting of McLelland.

“Surprisingly, I did an interview with CNN [Monday],” he said. “I have messages sitting on my desk right now from Fox News, in New York, and a TV show called 'Justice' in New York.”

“Mike and I have been friends for about 23 years. We met in the very beginning of law school,” he recalled. “Then we had a mock-trial team and he and I were partners and actually won the competition.

“When we graduated, we rented an apartment together to study for the bar exam. So, in the months of December, January and February, we would study all day and go to a bar prep course in the evenings,” he added. “[McLelland] was dating Cynthia at the time – his wife. She's a gourmet cook, so she would bring us lunch and bring us dinners while we were studying.”

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