The drunk driver who ran over a crowd of fans at the SXSW concert last year was told on Friday to prepare for a November trial. Rashad Charjuan Owens, who has been charged with one count of capital murder, four counts of murder and 24 counts of aggravated assault, has remained in jail on a $5.5 million bond since his arrest on March 13, 2014.
The judge has ordered the defense attorneys and prosecutor to appear every six weeks to report on the status of the case.
Drunk Driver Fleeing Police When He Fatally Hit Victims
Musicians, filmmakers and interactive media artists flock to
Austin every March for the annual South by Southwest (SXSW) conference.
The 25 year-old festival attracts celebrities and unknown
up-and-coming talent who perform for large audiences. An estimated
30,000 people were in attendance in March 2014 when a drunk driver drove over a barricade and plowed into a crowd on the festival grounds,
injuring 22 people and killing four.
Owens had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .114 percent at
the time of the horrific accident. He also had an extensive history of
arrests, including a DUI conviction and leaving the scene of an accident charge in Alaska. The vehicle Owens was driving was reported
stolen prior to the tragic SXSW DWI accident.
Civil Lawsuits Filed
De’Andre Tatum, a recent Fort Worth high school graduate who was deeply loved by
his family and friends, was killed by Owens, along a 35 year-old Dutchman, Steven
Craenmehr and his wife 27 year-old Jamie Ranae West, who were riding on a moped.
Multiple lawsuits were filed last month against the companies that organized he festival on behalf of these three and a number of people injured. The suits contend that the defendants failed to use adequate traffic control measures, train its volunteers, and otherwise protect the safety of concert goers. Attorneys allege that the organizers should have known that there would be excessive alcohol consumption and drunk driving in the area.
If your loved one was injured or killed by a drunk driver, we can help you obtain justice. Call the offices of Bill Berenson at 817-885-8000 from the Dallas-Fort Worth area or 888-801-8585 toll-free to schedule a free consultation.