Defense, prosecution rest in trial of South by Southwest car crash case

Both the prosecution and the defense rested their cases in the trial of 23-year-old Rashed Owens, who is accused of killing four pedestrians when he struck them with the vehicle he was driving during an attempt to evade police officers during last year’s South by Southwest film, media, and music festival in Austin, Texas.

Owens is facing capital murder charges in the fatal vehicular accident he allegedly caused in March of 2014 when his car sped through a downtown crowd, causing the deaths of four individuals. According to prosecutors, Owens had been driving under the influence of alcohol and was speeding to avoid a traffic stop.

Owens did not testify in the court hearing last Thursday, November 6, and the defense came to a rest without calling any witnesses. Owens’s attorney maintained that it was not the defendant’s intention to hurt any person.

Austin Police Detective Richard Harrington, a crash reconstruction expert and the prosecution’s final witness that day, said surveillance footage showed that Owens had been traveling at a rate of 55 miles per hour during the incident.

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