Friend of man charged in deadly SXSW crash: 'I can't grasp it'

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by TONY PLOHETSKI / KVUE News

khou.com

Posted on March 14, 2014 at 11:15 AM

Updated Friday, Mar 14 at 3:54 PM

KILLEEN, Texas -- A friend of Rashad Owens told KVUE News Thursday that Owens is a rap artist who was in Austin to perform at a popular East Austin nightclub, and says he is stunned that Owens is now charged with two deaths.

Police say Owens will be charged with capital murder in the deaths of 35-year-old Steven Craenmehr of Amsterdam, Holland and Austin resident Jamie West, 27. Twenty-three others were injured.

“I can’t grasp it,” said Lamar Wilson. “I can’t believe it. We were there to perform and it took a whole other turn."

Wilson said Owens was scheduled to perform at Club 1808 at 1 a.m. Thursday and that the two became separated. He said he thinks Owens borrowed a friend’s car – he denies it was stolen – and was trying to find Wilson when he encountered police.

"What I could think was when the police got behind him, he got instantly scared, 'Like man, what am I going to do?'  I guess he just tried to run and went down the wrong way," said Wilson. "On Behalf of SMG and behalf of us, we're sorry. For those, the 23 that's injured, we're sorry."

Wilson said he has not made contact with Owens since the arrest, and the family has not yet hired an attorney. 

Editorial note: KVUE news has learned that Lamar Wilson is a friend, not brother, of Rashad Owens as previously reported.

 

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