Rashad Owens, the driver who killed four and injured 23 at a South by Southwest show last year, has been found guilty of capital murder and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Pitchfork reported on the news released by The Austin-American Statesman over the weekend, which detailed the trial and prosecutor and jury statements.
There is no other answer than that the defendant knew what he was doing — and he didn’t care…He didn’t care who was in his way. He was not going to be stopped. He was not going to go to jail.
-Prosecutor Amy Meredith
Initial reports of the crash in March of 2014 stated that an unknown driver plowed into a crowd outside of The Mohawk, at 10th and Red River Streets in Austin, TX, and that the crash had left two dead and 23 injured – five of which were injured critically. At that time, the driver was being investigated for driving under the influence. Days later, a third and fourth death from the crash were reported, the driver was identified as Rashad Owens and had been charged with one count of capital murder with a bail set at $3 million. It was then announced that Owens would face an additional 20 charges.
In December, it was reported that several families of the victims would sue Owens, totaling seven separate lawsuits. The Austin-American Statesman reported what some of the families had said to Owens as he was sentenced:
I hope your life ends in the confinement of cement walls…I hope you sit there and remember everything you did to Sandy.
-Pauline Le, sister of victim Sandy Le
I pray for your mother, and your grandmother, and your family…They lost you, too.
-Shon Cook, mother of victim Jamie West
When hearing of his sentencing to life in prison and statements from victims’ families, 23-year-old Owens reportedly broke into tears.