By Jack Queen and Mike Spector
(Reuters) – A Texas grand jury is meeting Thursday to weigh possible criminal charges against rapper Travis Scott and others over a 2021 crowd crush at a musical festival that left 10 dead and injured thousands, Scott’s lawyer confirmed.
Attorney Kent Schaffer said it was unclear whether the Houston grand jury would hand down a decision on Thursday. The criminal probe includes Scott and several others involved in planning of his Astroworld Festival in November 2021.
“Nothing Travis did or failed to do fits within the Texas criminal code,” Schaffer told Reuters.
The Harris County District Attorney’s Office did not immediately respond to requests for comment Thursday.
Prosecutors will present evidence to grand jurors and ask them whether there is probable cause to support criminal charges. The proceeding does not necessarily mean any charges will be filed.
The probe stems from a deadly surge of fans at Astroworld in Houston, where thousands were injured when the over-capacity crowd pressed forward as Scott took the stage. Ten people including a 10-year-old boy were killed by compressive asphyxiation.
The tragedy unleashed a wave of litigation against Scott and the festival’s organizers, including entertainment giant Live Nation, which merged with Ticketmaster in 2010.
The plaintiffs allege Scott, Live Nation and more than two dozen other defendants let too many people into the venue despite knowing the risks because they wanted the concert to appear packed.
At least 4,900 fans were injured, according to lawyers representing victims in lawsuits against Scott and the organizers.
The cases have been consolidated in Texas state court in a process known as multidistrict litigation, which streamlines adjudication of similar lawsuits.
The family of one of the people killed settled on undisclosed terms with Scott, Live Nation and others in October 2022.
Other lawsuits remain pending, including a case brought by the family of the 10-year-old boy who was killed.
Attorney Robert Hilliard, who represents that family, said in a statement Thursday that “both criminal and civil accountability are critical to ensure that those responsible for the loss of innocent lives understand the permanent devastation they caused these families.”
(Reporting by Jack Queen and Mike Spector in New York; Editing by Amy Stevens and Lisa Shumaker)
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