Prosecutors question Onyeri about ATM skimming operation as trial continues

The trial of Chimene Onyeri continues today in Federal Court.  He’s accused of running a racketeering enterprise and shooting Travis County Judge Julie Kocurek back in 2015.  The trial is in its fifth week.  

Last Thursday, after Judge Kocurek took the stand to recount the harrowing attempt on her life, the defense called the man accused of orchestrating that plan to keep himself from going to jail: Onyeri.

While being questioned by his own attorneys, Onyeri shockingly admitted to pulling the trigger in front of the Kocurek family home.  Onyeri claims he found out later the judge had actually been in the vehicle.  He says he was just hoping to destroy property and scare them.

The trial resumed at 9:00 on the dot Monday morning with cross-examination by the prosecution.  The questioning moved to Onyeri’s Houston-area ATM skimming operation.

When asked to name one of his associates, Onyeri wouldn’t do it.  The prosecution asked if Onyeri considered that breaking the "criminal code."  Onyeri disagreed and chastised the prosecutor “I cannot divulge that stuff so get off of it.”

Judge Lee Yeakel reminded Onyeri if he knew the name he must answer the question.  At first Onyeri said he didn’t recall and then gave a name the prosecutor questioned whether he had just made up.  This type of thing went on throughout the day.

Jailhouse phone calls between Onyeri and his associates were played.  Code language was used to refer to stashes of cash on the outside.  Money was referred to as “mix tapes” with quote “80 something thousand songs on it.”

Prosecution briefly went back to the shooting Monday afternoon showing the court texts between Onyeri and a friend after the news broke about the Kocurek shooting

Onyeri texted “she’s (expletive) lucky that’s all I have to say….I'll tell you way more information in person”  

Onyeri explained that text by likening it to saying someone had a near-miss by a lighting strike.  "She’s lucky."  

When pressed about stealing pin numbers and money from bank accounts, Onyeri said ‘I’m not so much stealing it from them because they’re going to get it back, I’m really just taking it from the bank.”