A Missouri judge has ruled the trooper involved in the drowning death of a handcuffed Iowa man was improperly fired.
Missouri Highway Patrolman Anthony Piercy arrested 20-year-old Brandon Ellingson of Clive on May 31, 2014, for drunken boating on the Lake of the Ozarks. Ellingson fell out of the officer’s boat and drowned.
Last year, the trooper pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor boating violation. A Missouri judge said the head of the Missouri Highway Patrol did not have the authority to fire the trooper last December. The judge said the trooper should be reinstated to duty because that was the recommendation of a disciplinary review board.
The Kansas City Star reports the father of the Iowa man who drowned was in Missouri yesterday for a separate hearing about the trooper’s bid to continue working in law enforcement. Brandon Ellingson’s father told Missouri officials the trooper’s story about the day Brandon drowned has changed repeatedly in the past four years.