Statement on Astroworld Concert Tragedy

Style Magazine Newswire | 6/30/2023, 10:43 a.m.
A Harris County grand jury on Thursday issued six no-bills related to the deaths of 10 spectators, two of whom …
Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg

A Harris County grand jury on Thursday issued six no-bills related to the deaths of 10 spectators, two of whom were younger than 15, at the 2021 Astroworld concert, which means that no criminal charges will be filed in the incident, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced.

“It is tragic that 10 innocent people were killed while trying to enjoy an evening of music and entertainment, something many of us do routinely and without a second thought to our safety. But a tragedy isn’t always a crime, and not every death is a homicide,” Ogg said. “This grand jury’s determination has no impact on the many civil lawsuits pending.”

The grand jury presentation by prosecutors this week was the culmination of 19 months of work by the Houston Police Department, with officers tracking down every possible piece of relevant information before concluding their investigation.

Prosecutors with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office assisted these officers with every legal support tool required for them to obtain every piece of evidence they requested. The combined police and prosecutorial work on this case totals thousands of staff hours of the DA’s Office’s best prosecutors and HPD’s best investigators.

Grand jurors reviewed all of the evidence and considered the law that might be applicable before declining to indict Jaques Webster II (aka Travis Scott), Brent Silberstein, John Junell, Shawna Boardman, Emily Ockenden and Seyth Boardman. The no-bills listing these people’s names are public records.

It is the policy of the Harris County District Attorney to have a grand jury review cases involving serious and fatal incidents that may or may not involve criminal activity. Such situations are always investigated by the lead agency that has jurisdiction. The DA’s prosecutors provide critical assistance in the form of subpoenas, warrants and legal advice. When the investigation concludes, they present the case to a Harris County grand jury.

The grand jury process is constitutional and under Texas law, the constitution of the grand jury itself is randomly selected. This grand jury, like all grand juries in Texas, is composed of individuals who are summoned by the District Clerk for jury duty and chosen at random. Grand juries are part of the U.S. Bill of Rights, and they are utilized by prosecutors as required by law in all felony cases.

“I want to commend the dedication of each investigator and prosecutor who worked on this case for doing the kind of work any of us would want if the victims in this disaster were our loved ones,” Ogg said.