December 2, 2020
Frances Watson

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - A Springfield man accused in a manslaughter case is now charged with committing sex crimes.
Austin Larue is accused of causing a crash that killed Breanna Thomas, nearly 3 years ago.
He’s been out on bond and on supervised probation for a vehicle tampering charge out of St. Clair County until recently.
He’s back in the Greene County Jail. His bond was increased to half a million dollars.
“He does enjoy the presumption of innocence on all the charges at this point,” said his attorney Dee Wampler.
Larue, 25, was recently charged with a list of felony sex crimes that include two counts of first degree rape.
Wampler said, “He admitted to it in court, to the judge that’s handling that case that he did drink and met a young lady on Tinder, a dating app and went to this bar.”
But he denies any wrong doing.
Court records say Larue took the woman from a local bar to his home, back in March, where a sexual encounter turned violent.
Wampler says he’s been trying to stay out of trouble since he was charged for the crash that killed 18 year-old Thomas in January 2018.
Prosecutors say he was speeding on West Bennett Street when he lost control of his vehicle and slammed into a stone pillar.
“He was doing very well. There’s really no history of violence or anything like this until this incident,” said Wampler.
Court documents in the sex crimes case say that Larue is accused of choking the woman. When she told him to stop he slapped her.
Evidence collected also shows that Larue sent the woman a text message days later saying he felt “guilty”.
“He’s in jail right now. He’s going to remain in jail. I don’t think he’s a threat to society or to the community. We need to get him out and paying taxes, to help pull the wagon, rather than keeping him in jail while the tax payers are supporting him,” said Wampler.
He’ll be back in front of a judge for these charges on December 15th.
A case management hearing for the manslaughter charges is scheduled for the week after that.


Message from Executive Director Laura A. Ahearn: Please visit our website at www.crimevictimscenter.org for news, information and resources in your community.

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