Attorney: MSHP used rape case to discredit client in drowning case
COLUMBIA - Chet Pleban, the attorney for Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper, Sgt. Randy Henry announced Friday twofold results of his questioning of the special prosecutor assigned to the Brandon Ellingson drowning case.
The prosecutor, Amanda Grellner, he said, has withdrawn her complaint against Sgt. Henry for comments he made about the 2012 rape case involving Grellner's son, Garrett. The action comes after the Missouri State Highway Patrol investigation into Sgt. Henry resulted in his retirement.
Pleban said Friday his questioning of Grellner and her son revealed no evidence Garrett Grellner commited the rape. He added the Missouri State Highway Patrol did not complete a thorough investigation into who, if anyone, did commit the crime.
Sgt. Henry, while making comments about the rape case, is also the self-proclaimed whistleblower in the Ellingson drowning case. Sgt. Henry was trooper Anthony Piercy's supervisor and testified during a coroner's inquest in November 2014 that Piercy's lack of knowledge on life-jacket protocol was "surprising." Piercy is the trooper who arrested Ellingson for boating while intoxicated in May 2014 in which Ellingson later drowned.
Pleban said the patrol's decision to discipline Henry was an effort to discredit Henry in the Ellingson case and had nothing to do with the comments he made about the rape case, which Pleban said was a patrol coverup. Pleban said the patrol investigator looking into the rape told Sgt. Henry, "It's the son of a prosecutor. Just make it go away."
Pleban said his questioning of Grellner revealed she did not allow her position to influence her decision in the Ellingson drowning case, which resulted in no charges against trooper Piercy.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol did not return our request for comment by the end of business Friday.