- Associated Press - Thursday, December 17, 2015

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - A Travis County judge revealed that members of the county judiciary were never informed of a potential threat made shortly before an attack on their colleague.

Texas District Judge Julie Kocurek was shot in the driveway of her Austin home on Nov. 6. She remains in the hospital, but has filed for re-election to district court.

Kocurek, a former prosecutor, was appointed to the court by then-Gov. George W. Bush and has been Travis County’s presiding felony judge since 1999.

The Austin American-Statesman (https://atxne.ws/1PbDHSW ) reports District Judge Brenda Kennedy said she was “disheartened and disturbed” by the lapse in security. Kennedy said judges think the lack of information placed them at risk.

“There has been no apology, no explanation other than they deemed it was unfounded,” Kennedy said. “There has been no expression of regret, no acknowledgement there was a step missed in the process.”

Kennedy said judges want to be notified and should have been.

The Travis County district attorney’s office, which received the initial tip, passed the information along to the sheriff’s office, which provides courthouse security. Travis County sheriff’s office spokesman Roger Wade said Wednesday that the judges weren’t alerted because the threat did not name a specific judge.

“We are not going to alarm people unnecessarily,” Wade said.

Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg said two investigators thoroughly looked into the threat, but were hindered by a lack of additional information. She has said her office passed details to officers who provide courthouse security, which is the protocol for her office.

Judges and courthouse officials met Wednesday to discuss additional security for judges at work and at home, but officials declined to comment about any plans.

Authorities say they have a person of interest in the case, but he has not been charged with any crime.


Information from: Austin American-Statesman, https://www.statesman.com

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times is switching its third-party commenting system from Disqus to Spot.IM. You will need to either create an account with Spot.im or if you wish to use your Disqus account look under the Conversation for the link "Have a Disqus Account?". Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More

Click to Hide