Suspicious person calls made before Judge Kocurek shooting

Chimene Onyeri in Magistration Court in Harris County on Nov. 11, 2015 (KPRC)
Chimene Onyeri in Magistration Court in Harris County on Nov. 11, 2015 (KPRC)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — At least a couple of times a week, Stephanie Kurpiewski takes a jog through the physically challenging, yet aesthetically pleasing Scenic Drive.

“I just like to run in places that are pretty and I like hills,” said Kurpiewski who is training for a marathon.

She is hardly the only jogger. You will likely see plenty of people exercising if you stroll down Scenic Drive, while landscapers and construction workers build majestic new homes.

But outside of those people, strangers seem to stick out in the quiet and picturesque Tarrytown neighborhood. “You can tell the people who live here and the ones jogging through,” said Kurpiewski.

Perhaps that is why Austin Police said they are following up on reports of a suspicious person or persons in the neighborhood made prior to the Friday night shooting of Judge Julie Kocurek at her home on Scenic Drive. One neighbor told KXAN he observed a man in street clothes walking past his home on Scenic Drive on the day before the shooting. Fifteen minutes later, he said the man returned, this time jogging in the opposite direction. The neighbor did not recognize the man and described his behavior as suspicious.

While investigating over the weekend, APD handed out flyers to neighbors with a phone number to call if they saw anything else suspicious.

Chimene Onyeri was named as a person of interest on Tuesday. He had a pending fraud case in Kocurek’s court and faced possible probation revocation at a court date in December.

He was transferred into Harris County Jail on Wednesday and formally charged with an unrelated murder case in Houston. He did not receive a bond. At the magistration hearing, the charge against Onyeri said he bragged to someone about shooting Jacobi Alexander in May. A witness to the shooting detailed how Onyeri shot Alexander in the head and abdomen four times each.

Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo has said multiple people have been identified as witnesses who could provide important details about the shooting attack on Kocurek.

A family representative sent a statement on Thursday stating, “Judge Kocurek and her family greatly appreciate the concern that’s been shown for her during her recovery. She is receiving great care from a wonderful team of healthcare providers and remains focused on her recovery. The family is grateful for everyone’s continued thoughts and prayers.”

 

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