AUSTIN, TX April 10 2017— A man posing as an attorney this week reportedly secured a personal recognizance bond from a judge without the benefit of a law license, triggering a security alert at the Travis County Courthouse already fraught with tension.
The Austin American-Statesman reported that the incident on Monday involved Craig A. Nehrkorn, 36, who posed as an attorney in securing the PR bond, according to a security bulletin the newspaper obtained.
The man later acknowledged he was no lawyer, but a legal assistant. His successful efforts to obtain the bond for an inmate sent alarms throughout the courthouse, where staffers are on continual high alert after the assassination attempt on the life of District Judge Julie Kocurek. Ironically, the incident occurred while the Texas Legislature is mulling a bill known as the Judge Julie Kocurek Judicial and Courthouse Security Act that will address courthouse security, the newspaper noted.
The pending bill would require enhanced security training for judges and courthouse employees that would be paid for with a $5 increase to civil court filing fees. The names of the judge and inmate involved in the case were not disclosed, and it's unclear if Nehrkorn will face any disciplinary actions.
Security measures were supposed to have been heightened at the courthouse after the attempted assassination of Kocurek. On Nov. 6, 2015, the judge was pulling into the driveway of her home when a suspect approached the vehicle and fired several shots inside the car. She suffered shrapnel injuries to her upper body and arm, and was later awarded a $500,000 settlement by Travis County.