Man charged with murder after arrest for Cape rape

Saturday, March 9, 2002

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. -- A man being arrested on a Cape Girardeau warrant for rape ended up being charged with murder this week, police said.

Robert Austin Jr., 42, was arrested Monday in East St. Louis on an active warrant for a rape in Cape Girardeau, said police chief Delbert Marion of the East St. Louis Police Department.

When police arrived at his home, they found his brother's dead body. Eldridge Austin had been shot in the head, police said.

Austin is in St. Clair County Jail in lieu of $1 million bond. He's charged with first-degree murder, second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter.

Austin has a history in Cape Girardeau. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge and drug paraphernalia charges in 1999. He's currently charged with statutory rape and misdemeanor assault stemming from separate incidents in 2000.

Though Cape Girardeau County court records show an address on Big Bend Road for Austin, residents at the home said he never lived there.

Homeowner Clarence Dockery said he let Austin get his mail there for a time because Austin is his cousin's son.

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