This story hits a particular chord with this writer. Not only did I spend 25 of my 30 years of existence in Texas, but I was there at the world revered festival South by Southwest in 2014. That was the year when a tragic incident took place and changed the event forever.
Last month, Rashad Owens went to the Travis County courthouse in the heart of Austin to face charges of capitol murder after he plowed through the SXSW crowd during the early days of the multi-week event. He killed 4 people and injured another 20.
The verdict: life in prison without the option of parole for the 23-year-old. There are many graphic and emotional responses during the testimony from witnesses and family members, all with equally grievous things to say about the unfortunate string of events. One quote worth inserting is prosecutor Amy Meredith’s closing statements. “He didn’t care who was in his way. He was not going to be stopped. He was not going to go to jail.”
SXSW will go on as usual this year from March 9th through the 20th and there will be no lack of musical talent. Hopefully, there will be a lesson learned for the 2016 edition. Just take a cab.