Texas News
5:25 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Driver In SXSW Crash Charged With Capital Murder

Austin police have charged Rashad Charjuan Owens, the driver in the SXSW crash, with capital murder. The crash left two dead and sent nearly two dozen to Austin area hospitals.
Austin police have charged Rashad Charjuan Owens, the driver in the SXSW crash, with capital murder. The crash left two dead and sent nearly two dozen to Austin area hospitals.
Credit Austin Police Department

UPDATE, 6:35 p.m.: Austin police say any additional charges in the SXSW crash will be presented to the Travis County Grand Jury at a later date.

"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," police said in an update sent to reporters.

Thursday, Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said that Owens would face two charges of capital murder and multiple counts of aggravated assault with a vehicle.

UPDATE, 5:15 p.m.: Austin police said Friday afternoon that Rashad Owens, the driver in the fatal SXSW crash, has been charged with capital murder. Owens, 21, is in the Travis County jail where his bail was set at $3 million.

Earlier today, KERA's Shelley Kofler spoke with Carrie Black, cheerleading coach and cosmetology teacher at Trimble Tech High School in Fort Worth. Curtisha Davis, who was injured in the crash, is a cheerleader at the school. Her boyfriend, Deandre Tatum, was also injured.

Black said she jumped in her car and drove to Austin when she learned about Davis and Tatum, a 2013 graduate of Trimble Tech.

"This is a tragic time and everybody's trying to uplift them in prayer and pray for the best, which we know is going to happen," said Black, who met with the teens' parents at the hospital.

"She has a broken leg, a broken neck," Black said. "She's talking and just waiting for test results back on other parts they thought was broken with her."

Trimble Tech is closed for spring break, but friends gathered there on Thursday for prayer and a candlelit service. Black said Curtisha, who's listed in good condition, is expected to remain in the hospital another four or five days. Deandre remains in critical condition, according a hospital spokeswoman.

ORIGINAL POST: Two North Texas teens injured when a car barreled through a crowd at South by Southwest remain hospitalized at University Medical Center Brackenridge in Austin.

Kendra Clawson, a spokeswoman for Seton Healthcare Family, told KERA that Curtisha Davis, 18, is in good condition and Deandre Tatum is in critical condition. Clawson said she could not give out any other information.

"There are two good, one fair, two critical, one serious," she said about six of those injured who are being treated at the hospital.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram on Friday reported that students gathered at Trimble Tech High School on Thursday. Davis, a senior, is a cheerleader at the school and was with her boyfriend, Tatum, when they were hurt, according to the paper.

The incident happened about 12:30 a.m. Thursday on Red River Street. The driver, Rashad Charjuan Owens, 21, crashed through a police barricade and sped down a street filled with SXSW attendees, killing two and injuring at least two dozen. Owens eventually came to a stop after striking a vehicle. He tried to flee on foot, but police used a Taser to subdue him.

Police said Thursday that Owens faces two charges of capital murder and multiple counts of aggravated assault with a vehicle. Formal charges have not been filed yet.