‘I feared for my life’: Onyeri’s friend on why he went ahead with attack plan


Rasul Scott returned to the witness stand Wednesday morning to testify against the man accused of orchestrating the assassination attempt of Travis County District Court Judge Julie Kocurek.

Scott testified he got in the car headed from Houston to Austin knowing what was going to happen and did nothing to stop it, referring to plans to kill the judge on Nov. 6, 2015. 

“I feared for my life,” Scott testified, when Onyeri’s defense attorney asked him why he didn’t just walk away.

Scott said he has a respect for human life. However, after returning to Houston under the impression the judge had been killed, Scott testified that he and Marcellus Burgin, another co-defendant, went to a party. 

“I feared for my life…”

Scott finished his testimony against defendant Chimene Onyeri Wednesday mid-morning. Scott and Burgin have already pleaded guilty to charges related to the attack.

Following Scott’s testimony, three of Kocurek’s neighbors and a daughter of another neighbor at the time of the attack took the witness stand to testify about interactions with men they saw across from their homes in the time leading up to the shooting and about the night of the shooting.

One neighbor testified he heard four bangs, referring to the gunshots. 

Following the neighbors’ relatively quick time spent on the witness stand, Burgin was called to testify against Onyeri. 

The federal government spent the last portion of the morning discussing Burgin’s criminal history and his friendship with the defendant.

Burgin testified he met Onyeri when they were both inmates at the Harris County Jail. 

Throughout the now 14 days of testimony for Onyeri’s federal trial, witnesses testified that Onyeri was upset and wanted to kill a judge in Austin who wanted to revoke his probation.

Onyeri, Burgin, and Scott were indicted in September 2016 on federal charges related to the shooting, along with a fraud and racketeering scheme the trio was accused of running.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the three men were operating a multi-level fraud and racketeering scheme involving mail fraud, bribery of a public official, wire and document fraud, access device fraud and money laundering.

Follow Brittany Glas on Twitter for the latest from trial:

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