The Legal Trail

Rashad Owens entering a hearing
Rashad Owens entering a hearing (Photo by John Anderson)

Like many other dates in the year since he was arrested for driving his gray Honda Civic through a crowd of people on Red River Street, killing four and injuring 20 more, Rashad Owens' March 2 court date only served to precede another one next month. District Judge Cliff Brown said at a February hearing that he'd like to try the 22-year-old Killeen resident on all 29 counts of his indictment before the year is up. He faces one count of capital murder, four counts of felony murder, and 24 counts of aggravated assault.

The holdups in Owens' trial have been paralleled by a number of ancillary delays, most notably to the space on 12th Street and Chicon once occupied by Club 1808. Billboard magazine and the Huffington Post first reported that Owens was scheduled to perform at the club the night of the crash; some believed he may have been there earlier, drinking. The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission launched an investigation into the venue, which temporarily prohibited club owner Gene Mays from moving forward with plans to lease the space to Maydee Distefano. Distefano has since opened her new club, Dozen Street. Early this week, a TABC representative said that an investigation into Club 1808 has concluded, and that no violations pertaining to Owens' case were found.

Meanwhile, in December, attorneys for eight of the crash victims (including three who died from injuries) filed four lawsuits in three courts alleging that South by Southwest and Bastrop-based Transportation Design Consultants LLC failed to provide proper safety precautions in preparing for the festival.

Owens currently resides at the Travis County Jail, where he's being held on a $5.5 million bond. His next court date is set for April 6.

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