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Attempted Assassination of Texas Judge Was Orchestrated Effort, Says FBI

Judge shooting in Austin - Crime Scene - Crime Scene Photo Jay Janner-AP-AAS
AP File Photo via Austin American Statesman/Jay Janner

An FBI agent testified that text messages and photos found on an alleged assailant’s cell phone detailed the steps reportedly taken on the night an Austin district court judge was shot. The messages also allegedly show the extent of planning and premeditation between gunman and conspirators.

A gunman shot Travis County District Court Judge Julie Kocurek outside her home on November 6, 2015, Breitbart Texas reported. A neighbor told police she heard “four pops” at the time. The gunshots left Judge Kocurek in critical condition for weeks. In September 2016, a federal grand jury returned indictments against three men for their alleged roles in the criminal conspiracy to kill the judge. The indictment alleges that Chimene Onyeri shot Judge Kocurek while Marcellus Burgin and Rasul Scott acted as lookouts. Police reportedly determined a motive of retaliation.

An FBI agent testified on Monday about text messages found in phones, KXAN reported.

The agent testified that Onyeri texted one of his conspirators that “God is good bro,” after learning they would be able to obtain the judges home address. The alleged assailant reportedly sent the text about a month before the shooting. Onyeri appeared in the judge’s courtroom shortly before the text and learned he was in danger of having his probation revoked by Judge Kocurek.

Another text stated, “dis b—- talking about 6 to 7 years, SMH,” the agent testified. The agent said the texts showed that Onyeri was deciding what he was going to do to the judge.

Pictures on the phone reportedly included images of the judge’s home phone number and address and cars similar to the one driven by the judge on the night of the shooting.

Photos taken on the evening of the shooting showed an area near the judge’s home, according to testimony. One of the photos reportedly featured stadium lights on where the judge’s son was playing football. The photo was taken as the judge and her family at a nearby restaurant, the agent testified.

At about 7:45 p.m., a photo of the stadium lights and scoreboard were taken as an indication of what time they judge could be expected to return home, according to the investigator. At the same time, an internet search about the judge’s son was made by the alleged assailant, the FBI noted.

Judge Kocurek arrived home at about 10:16 p.m. As she approached, she observed a trash can blocked her driveway. The driver of her car got out to move the object when the gunman allegedly opened fire.

The gunfire left the judge severely injured. Her face and arms were “riddled with red, open wounds” as she lay unconscious in a hospital bed for more than two weeks, the Austin NBC affiliate reported.

Dr. Patrick Combs testified he kept her in a medically-induced coma for three days as he fought an infection that could have taken her life. The doctor testified the judge was not released from the hospital until December 15, 2016–six weeks following her attack. “She had a lot of recovery still,” the doctor said. After two years, the doctor is still recovering from her injuries and has undergone a surgeon’s knife 20 times. She may require additional surgery, the doctor stated. She lost her index finger on one hand because of the attack and Dr. Combs said her hand “will never be 100 percent.”

Onyeri’s trial is now in its 13th day.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas. He is a founding member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTXGAB, and Facebook.

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