Rashad Owens trial begins

Rashad Owens entered court Monday not to  deny what happened, his defense strategy, according to attorney Russ Hunt, is all about intent.

"We're not asking for forgiveness for that . We are asking for you to be reasonable, we're asking for you to look at all the evidence and weigh all the evidence fairly," said Hunt.

The jury was shown images of  the chaotic scene last year along red river that happened after Owens  drove through a crowd outside of a SXSW venue. Meredith Bradley testified seeing Owens traveling the wrong way up 9th and then pass through a barricade. 

"I saw the first guy get hit and just don't stop the car off the hood and onto the onto the glass onto the widshield, yes on the windshield, and bounce off and then i saw the first people get hit screaming and people running around in the car just kept going," said Bradley.

Scott Schmadeke was among the two dozen people who were run down.

"I remember my head hitting the windshield of the car and rolling off growing off after hitting the windshield on the windshield bouncing off kind of rolling backwards off the side of the car to the ground," said Schmadeke.

Harvey Ikem welcome testified he tried to get Owens to stop and was almost hit.

"The only alternative was to come my way what you did and it ran over the code when I seen him turn the corner that's when I jumped and grabbed onto the pole," said Ikem.

Witnesses, like Travis Cook,  testified that Owens accelerated as he drove through the crowd and never they never saw his brakes lights flash.

"The most shocking thing was seen a number people being struck by the vehicle is what I really remember the most," said Cook.

Four people were killed in the incident.

Owens was being chased at the time by an Austin police officer, who tried to pull him over for not having his lights on. Defense attorneys argue Owens at first was confused and then panicked. But say he never meant to hurt anyone.

According to court documents Owens was drunk, which played a big factored into the capital murder charge filed against him.

"Voluntary intoxication is not a defense," said prosecutor Amy Meredith.

Prosecutors are convinced they can prove Owens knew what he was doing, it was decided that they would not seek the death penalty if the jury returns a guilty verdict on the capital murder charge.
 

 

Watch Rudy Koski's story on Day 1 of the Owens Trial

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