SXSW car crash suspect pleads not guilty to murder charges

Rashad Owens, 23, is suspected of killing four and injuring more than 20 others

A man accused of killing four people in a car crash at South By Southwest festival last year has pleaded not guilty to murder charges.

Rashad Owens, 23, is suspected of killing four and injuring more than 20 others on March 13, 2014 when driving through a closed street on which there were a number of venues taking part in the music festival. Police state that Owens was intoxicated at the time of his arrest.

Steven Craenmehr, 35, from Amsterdam, local woman Jamie Ranae West, 27, plus Deandre Tatum, 18 and Sandy Le, 27, died in the crash.

Owens appeared at Travis County District Court in Austin on Thursday (September 24). He pleaded guilty to one count of capital murder and four murder counts, as well as 24 counts of aggravated assault.

NMEPA

Owens has a pre-trial hearing on October 15, with jury selection starting on October 26. Testimony hearing is scheduled to begin on November 2.

He’s being held on a $5.5 million bond (£3.6m).

Owens was an aspiring rapper who was scheduled to play a late-night show at Club 1808 as part of the SXSW festival.