Rapper Travis Scott avoids Texas mob charges

June 29 (Reuters) – A Texas grand jury declined on Thursday to indict rapper Travis Scott and five others on criminal charges in connection with a 2021 music festival that killed 10 people and injured thousands, prosecutors said.

The grand jury hearing is the culmination of a 19-month investigation into the tragedy at Scott’s Astroworld festival in November 2021, said Harris County District Attorney Kim Oak.

“Our investigators and prosecutors gave it their all to make sure the grand jury could get to the truth,” Oak said.

Scott’s attorney, Kent Shaffer, said the findings confirmed Scott was not responsible for the tragedy at the festival.

“Now that this chapter is closed, we hope the government will try to focus on what’s most important — preventing future heartbreaking tragedies like Astroworld from happening again,” Shafer said in a statement.

Five others were acquitted, including Live Nation festival manager Brent Silberstein.

“Brent did everything they could to have a safe festival,” said Christopher Downey, Silberstein’s attorney.

Attorneys for the others could not immediately be reached Thursday.

The study stems from a deadly fan uprising at Astroworld in Houston, where thousands were injured when an over-capacity crowd pressed forward as Scott took the stage. 10 people including a 10-year-old boy died due to suffocation.

The tragedy unleashed a wave of lawsuits against Scott and the festival’s organizers, including entertainment company Live Nation ( LYV.N ), which merged with Ticketmaster in 2010.

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Plaintiffs Scott, Live Nation, and more than two dozen defendants wanted the concert to appear packed and allowed many people into the venue despite knowing the risks.

At least 4,900 fans were injured, according to lawyers representing victims in lawsuits against Scott and organizers.

Cases are consolidated in Texas state court in a process known as multidistrict litigation, which streamlines the adjudication of similar cases.

The family of one of those killed settled with Scott, Live Nation and others in October 2022 on undisclosed terms.

Other cases are pending, including one filed by the family of a slain 10-year-old boy.

Reporting by Jack Quinn and Mike Spector in New York; Editing by Amy Stevens, Lisa Schumacher and Daniel Wallis

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Mike Spector

Thomson Reuters

Mike Spector is a Reuters reporter who covers corporate crises, including bankruptcies, massive criminal cases and government investigations. He was the first to expose plans to enter bankruptcy proceedings against Johnson & Johnson’s iconic baby powder that caused cancer. He later led a series of investigations into how J&J and other businesses and nonprofits used the bankruptcy system to avoid liability for deadly products and sexual abuse lawsuits and avoid filing for Chapter 11 themselves. Mike has contributed to an award-winning Reuters series on widespread secrecy in US courts, which hides evidence of deadly products. Mike previously worked at The Wall Street Journal, where he covered bankruptcy and private equity in the paper’s mergers and acquisitions group as well as the automotive industry. He has been part of award-winning teams that included the government brokered recovery and bankruptcy of General Motors; insider trading and related bankruptcy credit-trading issues; and concerns about Tesla’s self-driving car technology. He holds a master’s degree from Columbia University’s School of Journalism and a bachelor’s degree from Johns Hopkins University.

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