Development: Chimene Onyeri, 28, (left) who is being prosecuted by Texas State District Judge Julie Kocurek (right) on a fraud charge, is being questioned about her shooting in Austin on Friday night
Chimene Hamilton Onyeri, arrested for shooting of judge was defendant she was prosecuting in Houston, Texas
A person of interest in the wounding of a Texas judge in a shooting last week was charged Tuesday with murder in an unrelated Houston slaying, police said.
Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said Chimene Hamilton Onyeri, 28, was being held in Houston. Acevedo didn’t give details of that case and the criminal complaint wasn’t immediately available,but CBS affiliate KHOU reported Onyeri is charged with shooting victim Jacobi Demond Alexander to death on May 18 in Houston.
Acevdeo said Onyeri is a person of interest but hasn’t been charged in Friday’s “cowardly” attack on Judge Julie Kocurek, who was wounded as she arrived at her Austin home. Kocurek was hit with shrapnel and glass when a shooter opened fire, reports KHOU.
Her injuries were not considered life-threatening but she remained hospitalized Tuesday.
Investigators executed a search warrant late Tuesday morning at Onyeri’s west Houston home, where he lives with his father.
Onyeri’s father, Innocent Onyeri, told the station his son didn’t have anything to do with the May murder or the attack on Kocurek. He said his son was at home in Houston on Friday night when the attack happened.
“He was here, he’s been here. He had nothing to do with that,” the elder Onyeri told the station.
Investigators are working to establish an “affirmative link” that shows Kocurek was targeted because of her work on the bench, Acevedo said.
Travis County prosecutors filed a motion Aug. 28 seeking to have Onyeri’s probation revoked after authorities in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana, charged him with unauthorized use of a debit card. Kocurek was considering that motion.
An arrest affidavit from Onyeri’s 2012 arrest in his Travis County case shows Austin-area police charged Onyeri with fraudulent use of identifying information after police allegedly found 17 gift cards encoded with stolen bank account information during a traffic stop.
Onyeri has a criminal record dating to 2006, with offenses that include fraudulently using another person’s identity or bank cards. He has also been charged with unlawful possession of a weapon, marijuana possession and evading detention. He was arrested in 2008 in Harris County on a murder charge, but the Austin American-Statesman reports that case was dismissed.
Onyeri’s attorney, Michaela Cuellar, didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking comment.
Deputy U.S. Marshal Cameron Welch told The Associated Press that Onyeri was taken into custody Monday in Houston following a traffic stop. He was being sought by officials in Lake Charles, Louisiana, on a larceny charge for allegedly stealing a vehicle.