SXSW Suspect Charged with Capital Murder, Could be Sentenced to Death

SXSW Suspect Charged with Capital Murder, Could be Sentenced to Death

Rashad Charjuan Owens of Killeen was formally charged with capital murder and bond has been set at $3 million dollars, according to inquiries between Breitbart Texas and the Austin Police Department (APD) late Friday. In recent police reports offered to the public, two people died and 24 were injured early Thursday morning after Owens allegedly plowed into a crowd in Austin, recently reported in Breitbart Texas. The deadly incident happened at the annual South by Southwest festival. 

An APD press release stated, “The reason only one Capital Murder charge was filed is that Texas State law requires two or more deaths in the same criminal transaction for the filing of a Capital Murder charge.” 

APD spokeswoman Lisa Cortinas confirmed to Breitbart Texas that if Owens is found guilty of the charge against him, he could receive the death penalty. 

Owens has an extensive criminal history. My San Antonio reported that he was convicted in 2011 for driving under the influence of marijuana in Alaska. During that incident, Owens apparently hit a lightening pole and then fled the scene. Alaska court records show that Owens was apprehended on three separate occasions in the state. One such arrest in 2012 for property damage remains listed as an “open” case. 

In 2010, then-17-year-old was also arrested by the Killeen school district Police Department, according to After this arrest, he pled guilty to criminal trespass. 

Friday morning Breitbart Texas contacted the APD and confirmed the names and ages of 19 injured individuals, 15 of whom have already been released from the hospital. Three remain in critical condition and three are still in the hospital being treated for non-life threatening injuries.

Follow Kristin Tate on Twitter @KristinBTate

Image courtesy of the Austin, Texas Police Department