Highway Patrol fires Trooper Anthony Piercy in Ellingson drowning

10 months 3 days 4 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 8:42:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
By: Ethan Illers, KOMU 8 Digital Producer

COLUMBIA - The Missouri State Highway Patrol has confirmed it has fired Trooper Anthony Piercy.

KOMU 8 spoke to Capt. John Hotz, who confirmed the termination, effective Friday.

KOMU 8 News obtained a letter the Highway Patrol sent to Craig Ellingson, Brandon's father.

Mr. Ellingson:
 
On December 11, 2017, I convened a Procedural Hearing Board to conduct a hearing related to administrative charges brought against Trooper Anthony C. Piercy.  The charges brought against Trooper Piercy are directly related to the death of your son, Brandon Ellingson.  The board concluded that Trooper Piercy violated the policies of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, and that his actions warranted discipline.  The final decision regarding discipline of Patrol employees rests with me. Therefore, I am informing you Trooper Piercy's employment with the Missouri State Highway Patrol was terminated effective December 15, 2017.
 
Colonel Sandra K. Karsten, Superintendent

Piercy is the trooper involved in the drowning of 20-year-old Brandon Ellingson at the Lake of the Ozarks in 2014.

Ellingson was arrested on suspicion of boating under the influence. While in trooper custody and handcuffed, Ellingson fell overboard and drowned.

Piercy was accused of incorrectly securing Ellingson's life jacket, and faced a charge of involuntary manslaughter.

Piercy struck a deal in June 2017, pleading guilty to negligent operation of a vessel, a misdemeanor.

In Sept. 2017, a judge sentenced Piercy to two years of probation and 10 days in jail.

Back in November 2016, the Ellingson family reached a settlement with the state of Missouri, receiving $9 million as part of a civil suit.

[Editor's note: KOMU.com corrected a misspelled name in the headline. We apologize for the error.]

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