Texas Judge Shot Outside Her Home Last Month is Released from Hospital
(CNN) — A Texas judge has been released from a hospital where she was receiving treatment for a gunshot wound she suffered outside her Austin home in early November, a family attorney said Friday.
Julie Kocurek, the presiding felony judge for Travis County, was attacked after returning home in the Tarrytown neighborhood from a football game November 6.
Bill Rhea, an Austin attorney acting as a spokesman for Kocurek’s family, confirmed that she had been released, but would not say when.
At the time of the shooting, Austin police Cmdr. Mark Spangler said her injury, though serious, wasn’t life-threatening.
Authorities have named Chimene Onyeri, a 28-year-old Houston man currently in custody on an unrelated murder charge, as a person of interest in the shooting. Court records show that Kocurek issued a warrant for Onyeri’s arrest on August 28 in a gift card fraud case. Onyeri was due to appear before her in December and was facing possible prison time after violating his three-year probation.
Onyeri’s father, Innocent Onyeri, told CNN affiliates KPRC and KTRK in Houston that his son was at his home the weekend when the judge was shot.
Last week, Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg said her office was aware of a threat tied to Kocurek’s court before the judge was shot, CNN affiliate KXAN reported.
The prosecutor’s statement is the first acknowledgment that investigators were aware of such a tie before the shooting.
Court records state that about two weeks before the shooting, someone told the district attorney’s office that Onyeri planned to kill a judge, KXAN reported.
“Travis County DA Investigators were unable to show the veracity of this information because the name of the threatened district judge was not given and investigators were unable to find a current case within the Travis County system involving the defendant,” stated court documents, according to the affiliate.
Kocurek has been the presiding judge of the 390th District Court since January 1999, according to her official webpage. She’s had her hand in many cases in that time, including high-profile political cases involving former Texas Gov. Rick Perry and U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay.