- Philip Jankowski American-Statesman Staff
Authorities in New Orleans on Monday night captured a fugitive man who had been on the run since he was implicated in a conspiracy to kill local state district court Judge Julie Kocurek.
The arrest of 26-year-old Marcellus Antoine Burgin on Monday ended a days-long hunt that began Thursday when Burgin led police on a car chase in southwestern Houston before crashing his car and running away.
It triggered a multiagency search for him as authorities put together a $10,000 reward for information leading to his capture. Authorities said it was shortly before midnight on Monday that they apprehended Burgin without incident.
Burgin, along with Chimene Hamilton Onyeri, 28, and Rasul Kareem Scott, 24, are named in a lengthy federal indictment last week that accuses them of plotting to assassinate Kocurek. Onyeri is believed to be the head of a racketeering enterprise that committed mail fraud, bribed a public official and might have committed murder, according to the U.S. attorney’s western district office.
Kocurek was attacked in the driveway of her West Austin home on Nov. 6. She suffered serious shrapnel wounds from multiple gunshot blasts and returned to the bench in February. Over the past two weeks, she presided over the capital murder trial of Mark Norwood in the 1988 death of Debra Baker.
The indictment says that all three men used stolen credit card information to purchase items to carry out the attack on Kocurek. They decided to kill Kocurek because they believed she was going to send Onyeri back to prison, which would threaten their criminal organization, the indictment said.
On Monday, Scott, an alleged co-conspirator in the plot to kill Kocurek, was denied bail after a judge in New Orleans determined he was a flight risk. Both he and Burgin will eventually be transferred to a federal holding facility in Austin.
Onyeri remains in the Travis County Jail and is set to have a detention hearing in Austin on Oct. 6.