Federal judge says case can proceed against Missouri patrol
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A federal judge has ruled that a civil lawsuit accusing Missouri State Highway Patrol officials of violating the rights of a handcuffed man who drowned can go forward.
U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughrey also ruled Thursday that a jury can consider allegations that Trooper Anthony Piercy violated Brandon Ellingson's civil rights during the 2014 arrest at Lake of the Ozarks.
Ellingson's family filed the civil lawsuit in 2014 against the patrol, patrol leaders and Piercy. Their lawsuit came three months after a Morgan County coroner's inquest found Ellingson's death was accidental.
Piercy had arrested Ellingson, of suburban Des Moines, for boating while intoxicated and was taking him to a patrol office when Ellingson went into the water and drowned.
The Kansas City Star reports a patrol spokesman declined comment.