Originally created 03/31/03

Murder suspect killed in car wreck



A man who was awaiting trial on murder charges was killed early Sunday morning in an automobile accident on Georgia Highway 56 just north of Brown Road, authorities said.

Rufus Owens Jr., 28, of Augusta, was driving his green 1994 Ford Explorer when he apparently lost control and flipped the sport utility vehicle at about 2 a.m., said Richmond County Deputy Coroner Mark Bowen.

Deputy Alan Alspaugh, of the Richmond County Sheriff's Office, said weather conditions may have contributed to the accident.

Mr. Bowen said alcohol may also have been a factor in the accident, but toxicology results were still pending Sunday night.

Mr. Owens was charged in the fatal shooting of Anthony Campbell Jr. on April 21. Mr. Campbell was shot at his Hartford Street home after an argument over a slumber party.

According to court records, Mr. Owens had been charged with two counts of felony murder, one count of felony possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime and one count of felony possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Mr. Owens was released May 22 on a $52,525 bond, according to the Richmond County jail.

Mr. Owens was indicted July 23 and appeared in Superior Court on Nov. 12, but the court did not get to the case that day, District Attorney Danny Craig said.

Mr. Craig said a new court date had not been set.

Reach Jeremy Craig at (706) 823-3409 or jeremy.craig@augustachronicle.com.