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What country IS this?

The home of Kaufman District Attorney Mike McLelland is shown Monday, April 1, 2013, near Forney, Texas. McLelland and his wife were both murdered at their home Saturday. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

In Houston, an assistant U.S. Attorney who has been prosecuting 34 members of the white supremacist Aryan Brotherhood has suddenly announced he is withdrawing from the case because of what he called “security concerns.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Hileman didn’t say what those concerns were.

But a friend of his – who happens to be one of the lawyers for the defense in the case, thinks he’s probably worried about his family.

“I understand why someone would want to step back,” Ely told Houston television station KTRK-TV. “It makes sense to me, especially people that have families.”

This follows the assassinations of two other attorneys in Kaufman County Texas, a rural area southeast of Dallas.

Two months ago Kaufman County assistant DA Mark Hasse, was killed near his courthouse office – it happened on the same day as the the first guilty pleas were entered in the Aryan Brotherhood case. Then last Saturday, Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife Cynthia were found shot dead in their home. McLelland had helped investigate the brotherhood. He was shot when he answered the doorbell.

CBS’s Anna Werner Anna Werner described the tension at the Kaufman County courthouse, “You can really get a sense from the conversations I had with judges, who said they’re concerned with the man from the district attorney’s office, who said inside their office they are frightened and scared.”

There is no evidence the brotherhood ordered these hits. In fact, there are experts who say this looks more like the work of a Mexican drug cartel. But whatever it is, to see this kind of violence happening here in America, it’s like we suddenly woke up in a third world country – except with better plumbing.

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