Chimene Onyeri found guilty in Judge Kocurek shooting trial
November 2015: Travis County Judge Julie Kocurek was on her way home from a football game with her teenage son, her sister and her nephew. A leaf bag was blocking the driveway of the Kocurek home. When Kocurek's son got out to move it, someone fired a gun into the car.
Her son frantically called 911 shouting his mother had been shot.
According to Kocurek's testimony her sister told her "you are quitting that job."
While she lay on the front porch waiting for help to arrive, the Judge knew the ambush was related to her job...but wondered why someone would be mad at her.
3 years later, Chimene Onyeri faced a 17-count indictment in Federal Court. After a month-long trial, the jury found Onyeri guilty of all counts Thursday morning including racketeering, mail fraud, witness tampering -- and a special sentencing for the attempted Capitol Murder of Judge Kocurek.
In closing arguments Wednesday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg Sofer argued Onyeri's Houston-based criminal enterprise involving ATM skimming and other financial crimes would have been threatened if Judge Kocurek had sent him to jail for a probation violation. So he wanted her eliminated.
When Onyeri took the stand last week, he admitted to shooting into the car. He just claims he didn't realize Kocurek was in it.
"My impression of his testimony was it wasn't credible. It wasn't believable," Sofer said.
For those involved with Onyeri's enterprise who may still be out there, Sofer says "We're not done. And we know who they are."
"The bottom line is our investigation isn't over. We're going to keep digging, we're going to keep going. When you shoot a Judge in front of her children in her driveway because she's a Judge, you're going to get the attention of people like this and we're going to work night and day to make sure this kind of thing doesn't happen," Sofer said.
Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore said Judge Kocurek wants the community to know how much she and her family appreciates the verdict and what those who participated in the investigation did for her.
"We can't give them back life as they knew it before but I hope we've given them some consolation in knowing they were not alone and that the full force of the law was brought to bear to rid us of this evil," Moore said.
Defense attorney Victor Arana who put on a cap and gown during closing arguments and recited a fictional speech from Onyeri's future nephew did not speak with Fox 7 Austin today.
Onyeri is facing a sentence as severe as life...but sentencing is up to Judge Lee Yeakal. And that is happening in August.