The wife of a former justice of the peace revealed to authorities this week that she and her husband are responsible for the deaths of two Texas prosecutors, ending a months-long mystery that aroused speculation, especially by MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, that members of the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas, a white-supremacist prison gang, were responsible. On his show, Matthews routinely tied the Aryan Brotherhood to gun-rights supporters.
Kim Lene Williams said that her husband, Eric Lyle, shot the attorneys and that she was his driver in both instances. Williams allegedly shot Mark Hasse in January and district attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia, in March.
In the opening monologue of his April 3 show, Matthews discussed the murders of the officials and pinned the lack of “gun safety” on senators such as Ted Cruz who had threatened to filibuster gun-control legislation.
Later, in an interview with Representative Carolyn Maloney (D., N.Y.) about gun control, Matthews played audio of former GOP Nevada Senate candidate Sharron Angle’s “Second Amendment remedies” comment in 2010. “This Second Amendment remedy is no longer the crazy talk, talking about an odd duck senate candidate in Nevada,” said Matthews. ”Second Amendment remedies are what you do when you don’t like public officials, you shoot them, and that’s what’s going on.”
“We haven’t had these cases closed out West, but you have a prosecutor pulling herself out of a case against the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas,” he continued. “You can bet none of those characters ever voted for Obama. You got people on the hard right out there, so what’re we doing now?”
The next day, Matthews devoted a seven-minute segment to the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas with an accompanying graphic. He interviewed a representative from the Southern Poverty Law Center and an anonymous person who had served in prison with a member of the Aryan Brotherhood.
Other MSNBC shows ran segments featuring the Aryan Brotherhood and the Texas case in relation to gun control over the course of the week. Some of the anchors did stress that it was unclear if the Aryan Brotherhood was connected to the murders.