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Bomb Threats Made At Funeral

Wortham ISD Cancels School

The sleepy little town of Wortham in the northwestern corner of our county was filled with law enforcement officers and media from around the state last Friday as murdered Kaufman County District Attorney and Wortham native Mike McLelland and his wife were laid to rest. A single casket contained both McLelland and his wife, Cynthia, who was cremated and buried with her husband in his casket.

There was nothing routine about the funeral service, as a bomb threat caused the early end to visitation at the First Baptist Church on Thursday evening. Another bomb threat was reportedly called in during the funeral services on Friday, but the church was not evacuated since it was checked earlier by law enforcement officers.

The McLelland?s were found shot to death Saturday morning, March 30th, in their house near Forney, about 20 miles east of Dallas. No arrests have been made, but a $200,000 reward has been offered for information leading to the killer?s conviction.

Parents of children in the Wortham Independent School District were concerned about their children?s safety, since the school is located just a block away from the First Baptist Church.

Wortham ISD Superintendent Bruce Tabor canceled classes for Wortham students Friday due to the amount of calls from concerned parents.

Mike McLelland was raised on a ranch in Wortham and graduated from Wortham High School in 1967. He still has numerous relatives in the area, including his mother and a sister.

A public memorial service was held Thursday afternoon in Sunnyvale and attended by approximately 1,000 people, including Governor Rick Perry, who doubled the crime stopper reward to $200,000 and vowed the killer or killers would be tracked down and punished for their actions.

Many of the people attending the funeral in Wortham had attended a funeral several months earlier after the slaying of Mark Hasse, one of McLelland?s assistant prosecutors in Kaufman County. Hasse was gunned down in broad daylight near the Kaufman County courthouse as he was going to\ work on the morning of January 31st.

News media line the street across from the First Baptist Church of Wortham before, during and after the funeral services. Honor guards lined both sides of the steps leading into the church as the casket carrying the McLellands was taken into the church and then out of the church for the trip to the Wortham cemetery.

The funeral possession headed east on Hwy. 14 and crossed under the outstretched ladders of fire trucks from the Teague and Fairfield Volunteer Fire Departments which held a giant American flag to honor the McLelland?s and their family members.

For security reasons, TV crews and other media were not allowed in the cemetery for the graveside services but were sent to watch from the Wortham ISD football field.

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