Inside a cell at the new Greene County Jail. (Photo by Bruce Stidham)

To read this story, please sign in with your email address and password.

You've read all your free stories this month. Subscribe now and unlock unlimited access to our stories, exclusive subscriber content, additional newsletters, invitations to special events, and more.


A Greene County Jail inmate pleaded guilty Wednesday to involuntary manslaughter for causing the death of a fellow inmate in 2022.

Lorenzo Broomfield, 29, was originally charged with second-degree murder, delivery of a controlled substance and tampering with evidence.

In the plea agreement, prosecutors amended the second-degree murder charge to the class C felony of involuntary manslaughter and dropped the other two charges.

Who died? What happened?

According to information presented in Judge Jerry Harmison’s courtroom April 17, Broomfield was in jail on domestic assault charges on March 12, 2022, when he provided fellow inmate Austin Larue, a 27-year-old man from Strafford, with a substance later identified as fentanyl.

Larue died of an overdose shortly after the exchange with Broomfield.

Prosecutor Joshua Harrel told the judge that if the case had gone to trial, Harrel would have provided jail surveillance video that shows Broomfield giving Larue the fentanyl.

New Greene County Jail in Springfield, Missouri
The new Greene County Jail is located on West Division Street in Springfield. (Photo by Bruce Stidham)

Broomfield is a prior and persistent felony offender, Harrel said, adding that Broomfield has past convictions of second-degree robbery and endangering the welfare of a corrections officer.

For the involuntary manslaughter conviction, Harmison sentenced Broomfield to 15 years in a Missouri Department of Corrections prison.

Broomfield has other charges pending

Lorenzo Broomfield's mugshot
Lorenzo Broomfield pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter for the death of a fellow inmate in 2022. (Booking photo by Greene County Sheriff's Office)

With the involuntary manslaughter case settled, Broomfield has two other criminal cases pending against him.

At the time of Larue’s death, Broomfield was in jail for two counts of second-degree domestic assault, armed criminal action and other weapons charges.

He racked up more charges on July 10, 2023, when he was being placed in a restraint chair by two detention officers. According to the probable cause statement, Broomfield resisted and spit in their faces.

For allegedly resisting and spitting on the officers, Broomfield was charged with two counts of fourth-degree assault.

While Broomfield hired Springfield defense attorney Adam Woody to represent him in the case involving the death of another inmate, Broomfield does not have an attorney for the other two cases.

Broomfield told Harmison he believed the judge could appoint another private attorney to defend him.

Harmison explained that is not how it works, and that the judge cannot guarantee Broomfield the public defender’s office will provide free legal assistance when Broomfield was able to pay for a private attorney in the other case.

Mom says she's done paying for attorney

Broomfield’s mother sat in the front row of the seating gallery in Judge Harmison’s courtroom April 17. When Harmison began talking to Broomfield about the two pending cases, his mom raised her hand and spoke.

“He is indigent. He is in jail,” Broomfield's mother told the judge. “I put my life on hold to pay for Mr. Woody because this was a fight for my son’s life.”

“Are you his mother?” Harmison asked.

“Yes, I am. I made $49,000 last year. I gave Adam Woody $25,000,” she said. “That’s telling you how I’m living.

“When you go by what (Broomfield's) income is, it’s going to say, ‘zero, zero,’” Broomfield’s mother told the judge.

Broomfield continued to push the judge about whether Harmison could appoint a private attorney to represent him in the other cases.

Harmison explained to Broomfield his three options: Broomfield can hire a private attorney, Broomfield can apply for a public defender and see if he’s approved, or Broomfield can represent himself.

“Are you going to pay his or her rent and groceries if I pull them off the street and say ‘You are going to work for free?'” Harmison continued.

Judge Jerry Harmison
Judge Jerry Harmison

“Do you understand that if I grabbed a private attorney off the street and said, ‘You have to represent him and (work for) free —' does that seem odd to you?” Harmison asked Broomfield

“I don’t know,” Broomfield said.

Harmison then asked Harrel, the prosecutor, if he would be willing to negotiate a plea deal with Broomfield on the two pending cases. Harrel explained that he’d already done that once before, and Broomfield turned it down.

Harrel said he would write up another plea offer and provide it to Broomfield in jail.

Harmison set another hearing for Broomfield on May 13, which will give Broomfield time to apply for a public defender and time to read and consider the prosecutor’s plea deal.

Jackie Rehwald

Jackie Rehwald is a reporter at the Hauxeda. She covers public safety, the courts, homelessness, domestic violence and other social issues. Her office line is 417-837-3659. More by Jackie Rehwald