The three white men accused of killing black Charlottesville Uber driver Rashad Owens were overheard by a police officer laughing about the case just days after Owens was fatally shot while on his way home from dinner, according to an affidavit filed this week.
Tyler O’Dell, John Randolph and Julius Walker were charged with murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony for Owens’ shooting death after a police chase around 2 a.m. on Saturday, the Charlottesville Police Department said in a statement on Saturday.
According to the affidavit, O’Dell was driving while Randolph and Walker were riding on the passenger side of his vehicle, both laughing about the case. During the following minutes, O’Dell turned into his driveway from the street, unaware of the investigation, the affidavit said. As he turned, Randolph shouted out, “Don’t go” and “He’s trying to run from us.” Randolph began to pat O’Dell on the back. Afterward, Randolph yelled, “They killed a black man,” the affidavit said.
Both Randolph and Walker shouted out racist statements to O’Dell after the incident, the affidavit said. Walker “emphasized how the assailants killed a black man because he was black.” Randolph also said, “White people killing white people,” according to the affidavit. Randolph and Walker also claimed Owens was stealing from them, and Randolph shouted, “Would you rather have a black man in your back seat stealing and pissing all over the place or would you rather have white people getting beat up in the back seat of your car?”
Police were not immediately able to identify which police officer heard the comments.
Walker was released without bond on Thursday, the Charlottesville City Jail said. Randolph was ordered held without bond after a hearing on Friday. O’Dell was also ordered held without bond.
Chandler “Sasa” Andrews, a 22-year-old white woman, was also jailed this week for allegedly giving Brandon Jenkins, 27, a ride to the scene where Owens was killed, Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Raymond Morrogh said on Thursday.
Owens died of a gunshot wound to the neck as he walked home from dinner, according to police. Christopher Steele, an Uber driver who saw Owens during the ride, said Owens was shot while kneeling on the side of the road. Another Uber driver, Shaun King, who said the suspect’s ride was two black males, arrived to help and tried to apply pressure to Owens’ wound, King wrote in a Facebook post.
The three men arrested were previously arrested in a separate incident over alcohol and drugs but had been set free by a judge. Morrogh said he believed that those two arrests were “linked” to the killing. A review of the case will be conducted by the Charlottesville Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office and the Albemarle-Charlottesville-Rockingham Sheriff’s Office, according to the Charlottesville police statement.
Morrogh was elected to his position in November and had served as a member of the Commonwealth’s Attorney for Albemarle County since 2001.
Morrogh said he was particularly troubled that Durham “included racial overtones and racial commentary in this incident.”
Owens, who was 43, grew up in Vienna, Virginia, and was the son of her parents and sister. He was single and worked at a shelter where he specialized in finding shelter for those struggling with domestic violence. After marrying his wife, Owens worked for the county as a part-time clerical employee and still remained close to his hometown, his Facebook page showed.
In court on Thursday, Osness’ family members wept as they listened to prosecutor Rick Webb read the charges, his sister said.
Owens was remembered by friends as a jokester, a lover of music and a workaholic who shared positive energy with others.
“I miss him so much,” his sister said. “We were supposed to spend Father’s Day together.”