The man who was suspected of drunk driving and killing two people at the SXSW 2014 festival has officially been charged with murder.
Rashad Charjuan Owens was the suspect police had in custody in connection to the tragedy, and though we thought he’d be facing two counts of murder, he’s actually received a charge for one count of Capital Murder, with the death penalty as a possibility if convicted, according to The Daily Mail.
The horrible incident occurred when Owens was driving and “intentionally steered his vehicle towards dozens of victims while trying to outrun a squad car trying to pull him over,” eventually
failing to hit the brakes while passing by a crowd that was waiting in line for a show at the Austin festival.
It was also reported that Owens has a history with driving while under the influence, as he had a previous conviction in Alaska and one charge in Texas for criminal trespassing.
According to ABC News, since Owens was trying to get away from the accident scene on foot right after, it has greatly effected the charges and his sentencing.
Police Chief Art Acevedo told the site:
“The bottom line is, when somebody’s acting intentionally, and this is a person that was trying to get away, it’s very difficult to stop,” Acevedo said, adding later: “It’s clear for me from his actions, from what I’ve seen, that this is an individual who showed no regard for the human beings that he plowed through in his attempt to get away.”
Dr. Christopher Ziebell also revealed some shocking information to ABC News about the 23 people who are currently suffering from injuries from the crash:
“We are going to do our best for them, but these are some of the worst injuries that we see and not everybody with these kinds of injuries is going to survive.”
It was also reported that Rashad Owens faces 23 counts of aggravated assault, but there is no word on whether he has been charged yet.
We will keep you updated on details of his trial and sentencing.
We pray for the families of the victims and hope that justice is served.