- Associated Press - Saturday, May 14, 2016

HOUSTON (AP) - Prosecutors in Houston have dropped a murder charge against a man who Travis County authorities have identified as the suspect in the shooting and wounding of a state judge in Austin last year.

Now Travis County prosecutors want to bring Chimene Hamilton Onyeri to Austin where he faces a probation violation from a 2012 larceny case and possible charges in the November shooting of state District Judge Julie Kocurek.

“He knows he didn’t shoot the judge, so he’s confident they’re not going to file that charge,” his attorney, Sam Adamo, said Friday. “If they do, he knows he will beat it.”

Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg and other officials wouldn’t discuss the timing of possible charges against Onyeri in the shooting of the judge outside her home. He was described by prosecutors at a court hearing earlier as the “prime and only suspect.”

He had a criminal case pending before her court and authorities in Travis County had been tipped that he had planned to kill a judge.

The judge recovered from her wounds and returned to work in late February.

Onyeri, 28, also has a racketeering charge in Louisiana where conviction there could get him 50 years in prison with hard labor.

Charges in the Houston case were related to a shooting a year ago where a 31-year-old man was killed at an apartment complex. That charge was dismissed Friday because prosecutors had a Monday deadline to provide his lawyer, Sam Adamo, with evidence in that case, according to Adamo. Onyeri has been jailed on the murder charge for six months.

Prosecutors wouldn’t say why the evidence was being withheld, but said it would be included in the Lake Charles, Louisiana, case where Onyeri is accused of being a part of a crime ring that for years was involved in identity theft and counterfeiting.

Onyeri has a long criminal record in Houston. He was accused of another slaying in 2008, but that charge was dismissed three years later for unknown reasons.


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