SXSW Crash Suspect Is Aspiring Rapper, Was on Way to Perform (Report)
Rashad Charjuan Owens has officially been charged with capital murder, according to a statement from the Austin Police Department.
He is currently in custody at the Travis County Jail held on a bond of $3 million. Other charges will be presented at the Travis County Grand Jury at a later date, and 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," explained the statement released on Friday.
The names of the remaining three victims to be identified were also released, which are Gracie Nguyen, currently in serious condition, DeAndre Tatum and Sandy Le, who are both in critical condition. All three are at UMC Brackenridge Hospital.
The two fatalities have been confirmed as Steven Craenmehr, 35, who was an Amsterdam-based employee of MassiveMusic, and Jamie Ranae West, 27, of Austin.
Owens, who police say plowed his car through SXSW early Thursday morning, leaving two people dead and 23 injured, is reportedly an aspiring rapper who was set to perform a late-night show in Austin.
He was set to play a 1 a.m. show at Club 1808 near 12th and Chicon Streets, his brother told the Austin American-Statesman. Owens, 21, raps under the name KillingAllBeatz or K.A.B254.
Owens' brother Lamar Wilson told the paper he last saw Owens on Wednesday evening and can't believe what happened, initially thinking his younger brother had been arrested for driving without a license.
“I can't grasp it. I can’t believe it,” Wilson told the Statesman. “Everything was going good. We were just there trying to perform, and it made a whole other turn."
Wilson said Owens had been drinking and didn't know the streets of Austin.
Owens has several misdemeanor arrests in Killeen, Texas, roughly 70 miles north of Austin, and Fairbanks, Alaska, where one of his sons lives, the Statesman reported.
In October 2011, he was charged with driving under the influence, leaving the scene of an accident and a petition to revoke probation, according to Fairbanks records obtained by the Statesman. He pleaded guilty to the DUI misdemeanor charge and prosecutors dismissed the misdemeanor offense for fleeing, but he has an active warrant in Alaska for failing to appear in court, according to records.