KAUFMAN COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) – During a Wednesday press conference officials with the Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that a North Texas man was arrested for making a terroristic threat against a judge in Kaufman County.
“We want to confirm the arrest of Nick Morale, 56 years of age, of Terrell, Texas,” Kaufman Co. Sheriffs Lieutenant Justin Lewis announced.
Texas Rangers took Morale into custody Tuesday. He has been charged with one charge of Terroristic Threat.
Investigators received information about the threat, which Morale allegedly made by phone, on the tipline set up for the district attorney murders. “During the course of the investigation into the murders of Mike and Cynthia McLelland, a threat against the safety of a county official was received,” Lewis explained. But the lieutenant went on to stress that right now investigators have no information linking Morale to the shooting deaths of the McLelland’s or the murder of Kaufman County Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse.
While Morale’s alleged actions had nothing to do with the Kaufman County Murders, Lewis said the situation was not taken lightly. “Making threats against persons carry criminal penalties under both state and federal law. All threats will be taken seriously, investigated, and prosecuted in order to ensure the safety of citizens and our public officials.”
Sheriff’s said the investigation into the McLelland murders is “ongoing”, but said none of the agencies working the case would be releasing information about the investigation. Lewis said there is no particular agency leading the investigation and that teams with the Sheriff’s Office, DPS, Texas Rangers, and FBI, “…are working together in a collaborative effort. Each group has specific things that they are good at and we are pooling those together in order to come to a resolution to this situation.”
Concerning the McLelland and Hasse murders Lewis would only say, “We have not in this investigation, named officially, a person of interest, or any suspects.”
Investigators are working leads on the murders from the tipline and through other channels, but Lewis said there are still law enforcement officials dedicated to the public. “The Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office would like the citizens of Kaufman County to understand and be aware that security is being stepped up throughout the community. Sheriff Burns asks citizens to be aware of their surroundings, always err on the side of caution, and never hesitate to call 911.”
Officials are still urging anyone with information on any of the Kaufman County murders to call the Kaufman County tipline at (877) 847-7522 or leave information on the Kaufman County Crime Stoppers website. [Be-a-Snitch Line]