Pre-trial hearing for driver in South By Southwest crash postponed

Julia Brouillette

A status hearing for Rashad Owens, the driver charged in the crash during South By Southwest that killed four people and left more than 20 injured, was reset to June 3.

Police filed the initial charge of capital murder after Jamie West, 27, and Steven Craenmehr, 35, died at the scene. Deandre Tatum, 18, and Sandy Le, 26, died in the two weeks following the crash.

Owens is facing one count of capital murder and 24 counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Police say Owens was driving while intoxicated when he fled police and drove a stolen car through a crowd of people on Red River Street on March 13.

Three UT students, Greg Cerna, computer science and electrical engineering sophomore, Maria Belyaeva, computer science and radio-television-film sophomore and computer science sophomore Ryan Freeman, were victims of the crash. 

District Court clerk Kay Bennett said Owens’ hearing was rescheduled because his case has not yet been indicted.

Owens has remained in Travis County Jail since his arrest with a bond set at $5.5 million, according to the Travis County Sheriff’s Office records.

On March 27, Austin City Council approved a resolution to launch a full-scale review of South By Southwest activities as they relate to city safety and capacity. Councilman Mike Martinez, who drafted the proposal, said the crash prompted the motion.