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Judge Erleigh Norville Wiley appointed as next Kaufman DA

KAUFMAN – Gov. Rick Perry yesterday appointed Kaufman County Court-Of-Law Judge Erleigh Norville Wiley of Forney as Kaufman County’s next Criminal District Attorney to replace Mike McLelland, who was murdered with his wife in their Forney home two weeks ago.

A former supervising attorney for the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office, she has a particular interest in cases involving abused and neglected children. Wiley is the current president of the Kaufman County Juvenile Board, Kaufman Indigent Defense Board, a board member of Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Kaufman and the Amanda F. Norville Children’s Shelter, plus a member of the North Texas Chapter of Jack and Jill Clubs of America. She was raised in Kaufman County and graduated from Kaufman High School.

At a news conference Thursday Wiley admitted to being nervous about accepting the appointment, which must still be confirmed by the State Senate next week. But she said after the murders of the McLellands and prosecutor Mark Hasse, that she applied for the position because Kaufman is her hometown and she was raised to step up when something needed to be done.

“There is danger,” she said.  “We’re all in danger in Kaufman County until we figure out who’s done these horrible things to Mike and Cynthia, and Mark, we’re still in danger.”

“I just know the way I was born and raised, if there’s something to be done, we just need to do it.”

She said when she asked her brother his opinion about applying, he told her, “You know, that’s what mother would do.”

She added that she told her new staff that she wants to build on the success they helped achieve with Mike McLelland and wants to make their office the best this size in the state of Texas.

If she receives confirmation next week, Wiley will officially replace Kaufman Assistant District Attorney Brandi Fernandez, who has served as interim DA since McLelland was slain.

Kaufman County Commissioners will now begin the process to choose a new judge to replace Wiley.

By J.J. Smith

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