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SXSW Hit-and-Run Suspect Faces 20 New Charges

Rashad Charjuan Owens could face additional charges before his case heads to trial

Barricades stand near the scene of a deadly car accident at the South by Southwest Music, Film and Interactive Festival.
Michael Loccisano/Getty Images
April 1, 2014 4:45 PM ET

Rashad Charjuan Owens, currently facing two capital murder charges and multiple accounts of aggravated assault after a hit-and-run at South By Southwest in Austin, now faces 20 new counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and could be slapped with more charges before his case goes to trial, the Statesman reports.

Prosecutor Amy Meredith did not say whether Owens would face further murder charges in the wake of the deaths of two more victims, Sandy Thuy Le and DeAndre Tatum, who sustained injuries during the tragedy and died after police filed initial charges.

The new charges are connected with 20 individuals who suffered any sort of injury during the accident, from minor swelling to concussions, broken bones, cracked vertebrae and brain injuries. A judge set an additional $100,000 bail for each new charge, which will be added to the $3 million already listed for a charge of capital murder. Owens' case will likely be presented to a grand jury in mid-June, Meredith said, or else Owens will be able to be released from jail if he can post bail.

Owens was arrested after he skirted police officers and barreled into a crowded street the night of March 13th, driving a reportedly stolen vehicle while under the influence. He has been convicted of numerous offenses in the past, including a 2010 criminal trespassing charge in Killeen, Texas; and, in 2011 while living in Alaska, driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident. He pleaded guilty to the DUI charge, but prosecutors dismissed the fleeing offense.

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