A Travis County grand jury this week indicted Rashad Charjuan Owens, charging the accused in the SXSW Red River hit-and-run with one count of capital murder, four counts of felony murder, and 24 counts of aggravated assault.
The charges, handed down Monday evening, May 19, are more severe than the initial set, which charged Owens with capital murder and the 24 counts of aggravated assault, but didn't include the charges of felony murder. The 21-year-old Killeen resident has spent the past 68 days in Travis County Jail, where he's being held on $5.5 million bail. Owens crashed into a crowd of festivalgoers while fleeing police, prosecutors charge.
Tuesday's Austin American-Statesman reported that officials "had not said" whether or not they would pursue additional murder charges in the wake of two additional deaths – those of DeAndre Tatum, 18, and Sandy Le, 26 – that occurred after initial charges were filed in connection with the deaths of Jamie West, 27, and Steven Craenmehr, 35. We were unable to confirm at press time that these new charges do indeed correspond to the four deaths; though that seems likely, the D.A.'s office is not releasing comments on the grand jury action at this time.
Owens, who has not been seen in public since his arrest on the morning of March 13, is scheduled to make his first appearance in court on June 3, after two previous postponements.
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