Teen sentenced to 25 years on fatal DUI charges

February 9, 2013 7:57:43 PM



STARKVILLE -- A 19-year-old Starkville man faces a 25-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to an aggravated DUI charges in connection with an Oktibbeha County car crash that killed one and left five others injured. 


Austin Tyler Poole was 18 at the time of the May 9 crash. Poole was driving his 1999 Ford Explorer when he lost control of the vehicle, which flipped multiple times after running off the road near the intersection of Oktoc and Skinner roads. The wreck resulted in the death of 19-year-old Treasure Huffman and left five others injured.  


The Oktibbeha County Sheriff's Office released Poole on a $30,000 bond pending a continued investigation following the incident. Poole pleaded guilty to five counts and was sentenced to five years for each count by Oktibbeha County Circuit Court Judge Lee Howard. Howard suspended one count. Mississippi law dictates a 5- to 25-year sentence is to accompany each count of aggravated DUI. 


The day after the accident, details began to emerge. 


Alexandra Kapaun, of Jackson, told The Dispatch her brother, Matthew Harman, suffered a broken arm and cuts and bruises in the accident. Her brother told her what had happened. 


"He did say that they had all be drinking, except for Treasure," Kapaun said. "He said they started out at my brother's apartment at the Highlands, drank a few beers and decided to go drive the back roads.  


"My brother was in the backseat and Treasure was in his lap," she continued. "Austin was driving, he said. He said they were probably going too fast and they were going down a road and reached a dead end and couldn't stop in time. They went off into the woods, hits some trees and flipped two or three times. He said he didn't remember much after that."  


Huffman had just finished her freshman year at Mississippi State, while Poole was a student at East Mississippi Community College.