Suspect in fatal crash near Cedar Rapids released to Department of Corrections

Latare will live with father until trial; attorney says Army vet suffers from depression, anxiety

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CEDAR RAPIDS — The Cedar Rapids man accused of vehicular homicide will be released to the supervision of the Iowa Department of Corrections and live with his father until his trial.

Taylor Latare’s attorney, John Breitbach, said no one was happy with the “tragic situation,” but added that his client — an Army veteran who served in Afghanistan — needs to be out to receive continued treatment for depression and anxiety.

“This is just a tragic situation no one is happy about,” Breitbach said Wednesday after his client’s initial appearance.

Latare is accused of killing 59-year-old Gregory P. Erenberger, of Walford, on Aug. 5. Cedar Rapids police and fire and Area Ambulance were called to a crash at the on the Wright Brothers Boulevard and Interstate 380 interchange at 10:47 p.m. There, they found Erenberger, who had been hit and thrown from his motorcycle.

Erenberger was pronounced dead at the scene.

An investigation into the crash determined Erenberger had been stopped at a traffic light on Wright Brothers Boulevard when he was hit from behind by Latare. The 25-year-old was initially arrested for drunken driving, but his charge was upgraded to vehicular homicide by operating while intoxicated.

During an initial appearance on the new charge, the Linn County Attorney’s Office said the offense warranted a bond to keep Latare in custody. Breitbach, however, said his client has family in the area — including a 4-year-old daughter he has shared custody of — and is not a flight risk.

Breitbach said his client served in the Army and was deployed for a time to Afghanistan.

“When he got home, like so many of our military, Taylor suffered from depression and anxiety,” he said.

Breitbach said after the hearing that he did not yet know the extent of Latare’s medical issues or if he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. Members of Latare’s family, who attended the hearing, were told by Breitbach not to comment.

Judge Jane Spande said she believes Latare could be adequately supervised by the Department of Corrections if released to them. She ordered him to have no further law violations, not to consume alcohol during his release and to undergo a substance evaluation.

Breitbach said Latare would live with his father in North Liberty. Latare also has a job lined up with a North Liberty-based lawn service, Breitbach said.

Vehicular homicide is a Class B felony punishable by up to 25 years in prison.

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