The driver involved in a crash that killed four people and injured over 20 more at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas last month is now facing 20 new counts of assault with a deadly weapon.
Rashad Owens has already been charged with two counts of capital murder over the incident and now local news source Austin American Statesman has revealed the new possible charges. They write that each new charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon could carry a sentence of up to 20 years. Statements released today (April 1) detail a number of injuries sustained by victims in the crash, including a woman with three cracked vertebrae, and another who was thrown 15 feet in the air by the car and who lost two teeth. Further injuries include brain damage and broken bones.
In the early hours of March 13, Owens avoided a drink driving checkpoint and drove down a busy street on which there were a number of venues taking part in the music festival. He is accused of drink driving as well as fleeing police and driving a stolen car in addition to the murder and assault charges. The Austin American Statesman adds that though the first two deaths – of Steven Craenmehr, 35, from Amsterdam and local woman Jamie Ranae West, 27 – incurred murder charges, no additional murder charges have been filed following the deaths of Deandre Tatum, 18 and Sandy Le, 27, who both died in hospital after the incident.
As previously reported, Owens was an aspiring rapper who was scheduled to play a late-night show at Club 1808 as part of the festival. He remains in Travis County Jail with bail set at $3 million.