Trial delay likely for men accused of shooting at Travis County judge


10:45 a.m. The October trial of three men suspected of trying to kill Travis County state district Judge Julie Kocurek will likely be pushed back to 2018.

But before he decides anything, U.S. Judge Lee Yeakel said he wants attorneys for the defendants to file a motion by next week formally requesting the delay.

Yeakel hinted that the new trial date would be Feb. 5.

Lawyers for Chimene Onyeri and Marcellus Burgin said they have a significant amount of evidence to sort through before they’ll be ready for trial. They each asked the judge to push back the trial by 90 days, which would be early January. But Yeakel said he suspects the attorneys won’t want to work too hard over the holidays, so he proposed February.

Onyeri’s attorney, Leonard Martinez, said he’s running into additional complications because another attorney who was helping on the case must drop out for personal reasons.

Daniel Wannamaker, attorney for Rasul Scott, informed the court he may request that his client be tried separately because he has minimal suspected involvement in the case. Wannamaker added that one of the other defendants made a recorded statement indicating Scott had little or nothing to do with the alleged criminal conspiracy. As he was saying that, Onyeri nodded his head affirmatively.

7:30 a.m. Three men accused of trying to kill Travis County state district Judge Julie Kocurek in 2015 will appear in federal Western District Court for a status hearing Monday morning.

Attorneys for Chimene Onyeri, Marcellus Burgin and Rasul Scott are expected to update U.S. Judge Lee Yeakel on whether they’ll be ready for trial on Oct. 11.

At a hearing in May, the lawyers requested that the judge delay the trial by three months to give them time to sort through stacks of evidence in the case. Yeakel said he wouldn’t commit to anything until the next hearing.

Investigators believe Onyeri wanted Kocurek killed because she was going to send him back to prison for a probation violation. Kocurek suffered injuries from shrapnel and glass and lost a finger. She has since returned to the bench.

This is a developing story; check back for details.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Filing taxes? Here's how a government shutdown impacts the process
Filing taxes? Here's how a government shutdown impacts the process

Millions of Americans are ready to file their 1040s when the tax season opens Jan. 29 , but will the Internal Revenue service be open to process them? And how long will it take to get a refund? When Congress failed to agree on a funding bill early Saturday, the U.S. government officially ran out of money for the fiscal year and shut down, triggering...
WEATHER: Fifty percent chance of rain on a warm Sunday
WEATHER: Fifty percent chance of rain on a warm Sunday

Sunday is expected to be cloudy with a high of 72 degrees and a 50 percent chance of rain, according to the National Weather Service. The morning’s patchy fog is expected to lift from the Austin area around 10 a.m. Precipitation amounts between a tenth and a quarter of an inch are possible Sunday. The chance of showers is expected to drop Sunday...
Community news: TreeFolks to give away trees Saturday

TRAVIS COUNTY NORTH AUSTIN TreeFolks to give away trees TreeFolks will distribute 1,200 fruit and shade trees to Austin Energy customers from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Austin Community College Northridge Campus, 11928 Stonehollow Drive, in the first tree giveaway of 2018. Free trees are available for Austin Energy customers, who may bring their...
Williamson sheriff gets approval for deputies to be on ‘Live PD’ show
Williamson sheriff gets approval for deputies to be on ‘Live PD’ show

Williamson County sheriff’s deputies might get to show how they roll on prime-time TV. The Williamson County Commissioners Court gave its approval Thursday to the sheriff’s office to negotiate a contract with a television show that does live recordings of law enforcement on their daily calls. The show, called “Live PD,” is broadcast...
PolitiFact: Teachers don’t have college degrees? Give than an F
PolitiFact: Teachers don’t have college degrees? Give than an F

Andrew White, a Democratic candidate for Texas governor who’s called for $5,000 pay raises for public school teachers, declared that half of the state’s newest teachers lack college degrees. White, a Houston investor, said, “I know this: One way to fix education is to pay teachers more, so that we can attract the best teachers and...
More Stories