TARGET 8: Man charged in Harrisburg teacher's death had a pattern of illegal driving

2 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago Tuesday, October 03 2017 Oct 3, 2017 Tuesday, October 03, 2017 7:28:00 PM CDT October 03, 2017 in Target 8
By: James Packard, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - The man charged in a fatal crash near Harrisburg last week had at least five previous convictions for driving without a valid license, according to court documents, part of a dizzying timeline of crimes that resulted in at least two probation sentences and two incarcerations. His record raises questions about how he could have still been able to drive.

Brandon Brill was charged with felony second degree murder Monday afternoon. Boone County Prosecutor Dan Knight said the hefty charge stemmed from Brill's criminal record. Knight said Brill was in the process of committing a felony when he caused the death of another person, which fits into Missouri's definition of second degree murder. 

"Under the laws of the state of Missouri, it is a class E felony to drive without a valid operator's license on the third time," Knight said.

According to the probable cause statement from the crash last Thursday, "Brill did not have a valid operator's license at the time of the crash."

It's not clear if he had an invalid license with him, or no license at all. 

But available records showing Brill drove without a valid license go back to 2010. In 2012, after at least his third offense, records show he was sentenced to 5 years probation, but it ended early, and he was sentenced to 2 years in prison in 2014. It's not clear how much of that sentence he served, if any.

Court documents suggest that he was on probation in 2013 (from the 2012 offense), when he was again sentenced to incarceration: 3 months in the Boone County Jail, according to records. But the start date listed for that sentence was August 8, 2014, two weeks after his two-year prison sentence was supposed to start. In that case, a request for the case to move forward without Brill present was filed.

In May 2014, he was again charged with operating a vehicle without a valid license, according to court documents.

In August 2016, just weeks after his two-year prison sentence would have ended, records show he was hit with drug charges and put on two years supervised probation to start that November. It's not clear if Brill was on probation at the time of Thursday's crash.

Brill's record is so extensive and confusing that it's not immediately clear when, or if, he was ever in jail or on probation. Timelines overlap, and in some cases, there is no completion date listed on probations or incarcerations.

But his record raises red flags about why Brill was on the road last Thursday afternoon when the truck he was driving crossed the median and hit a school bus with five Harrisburg cross country team members and a teacher on board. The teacher, Brian Simpson, died. His funeral was Tuesday in Columbia.

Firefighters extricated Brill from the truck he was driving, and emergency responders took him to University Hospital. When KOMU 8 News called the hospital Tuesday, a staffer said there was no patient there with the name Brandon Brill.

After prosecutors charged Brill Monday, KOMU 8 News viewers on Facebook asked questions about how the crash could have been prevented. 

"Should never have been on road!!!" wrote Charlie Harrison.

"This accident should never have happened and yet it did. May God help everyone, including the driver charged with this accident. He should never have been driving," wrote Jean Feddema Sundet.

"As far as speculating on what exactly would have kept him off the road, I can't go into that at this point," Knight said, emphasizing that he was only able to talk about what was in the public record, like the probable cause statement.

According to Knight, Brill could face between 10 to 30 years or life in prison if he's convicted of felony second degree murder.

"I'm not gonna speculate at all on what sentence might eventually be imposed," Knight said. "Individuals who are charged with this crime, they can be placed on probation."

According to Knight and Boone County Detective Tom O'Sullivan, people driving without a valid license is nothing out of the ordinary.

"We have a large number of cases of individuals driving without a valid operator's license," Knight said.

While Knight and O'Sullivan didn't have exact numbers, they both said it happens frequently.

"The deterrent, hopefully is there, it's against the law," Knight said. "People should recognize you can't drive, you know, vehicles without a valid operator's license and there should be ramifications for that."

It wasn't clear Tuesday if Brill was in law enforcement custody. Knight said his office would contact the family of Brian Simpson soon.

Below is a timeline of Brill's criminal past.

Editor's note: The Boone County Jail provided KOMU 8 News with a mug shot of Brill from October 2013. 

Related Stories

More News

Grid
List
BOONEVILLE - Police took two into custody after a car chase late Wednesday night. Police said the chase began... More >>
4 hours ago Thursday, October 19 2017 Oct 19, 2017 Thursday, October 19, 2017 12:09:00 AM CDT October 19, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS - Southwest's first all-female crew took off from Missouri on Wednesday. The flight traveled from St. Louis... More >>
6 hours ago Wednesday, October 18 2017 Oct 18, 2017 Wednesday, October 18, 2017 10:07:00 PM CDT October 18, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Jaden Schwartz had his third career hat trick to help the St. Louis Blues beat the... More >>
6 hours ago Wednesday, October 18 2017 Oct 18, 2017 Wednesday, October 18, 2017 10:06:59 PM CDT October 18, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Police Department responded to a call at 4:15 p.m. Wednesday afternoon in West Columbia. They are... More >>
8 hours ago Wednesday, October 18 2017 Oct 18, 2017 Wednesday, October 18, 2017 7:39:00 PM CDT October 18, 2017 in News
MEXICO-- As Domestic Violence Awareness Month comes to a close, a report by the Violence Policy Center shows that Missouri... More >>
8 hours ago Wednesday, October 18 2017 Oct 18, 2017 Wednesday, October 18, 2017 7:29:00 PM CDT October 18, 2017 in News
ASHLAND - Children, parents and politicians attended a Youth Town Hall featuring Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler, R-Missouri, Wednesday evening at the... More >>
8 hours ago Wednesday, October 18 2017 Oct 18, 2017 Wednesday, October 18, 2017 7:14:00 PM CDT October 18, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - After an active threat on MU’s campus, some are disappointed with the MU Alert system and question its... More >>
9 hours ago Wednesday, October 18 2017 Oct 18, 2017 Wednesday, October 18, 2017 6:51:00 PM CDT October 18, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The Downtown Leadership Council met Tuesday to decide how to spend fees paid by developers to compensate businesses... More >>
10 hours ago Wednesday, October 18 2017 Oct 18, 2017 Wednesday, October 18, 2017 5:33:00 PM CDT October 18, 2017 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — An Arkansas man who made bomb threats to a county courthouse in Missouri so his court hearing... More >>
11 hours ago Wednesday, October 18 2017 Oct 18, 2017 Wednesday, October 18, 2017 4:31:00 PM CDT October 18, 2017 in News
MOBERLY - Police arrested a man Tuesday on suspicion of more than a dozen crimes, including rape, statutory rape, sodomy,... More >>
12 hours ago Wednesday, October 18 2017 Oct 18, 2017 Wednesday, October 18, 2017 3:31:00 PM CDT October 18, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Six years after being one of the first 16 schools to incorporate the Coulter Awards, MU has become... More >>
12 hours ago Wednesday, October 18 2017 Oct 18, 2017 Wednesday, October 18, 2017 3:14:00 PM CDT October 18, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – People struggling with alcoholism can find help more easily with a new online navigator tool released by the... More >>
13 hours ago Wednesday, October 18 2017 Oct 18, 2017 Wednesday, October 18, 2017 3:12:00 PM CDT October 18, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A judge has fined a central Missouri prosecutor more than $12,000 for failing to provide records... More >>
13 hours ago Wednesday, October 18 2017 Oct 18, 2017 Wednesday, October 18, 2017 2:52:00 PM CDT October 18, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – Rep. Vicky Hartzler, (R)-Missouri, presented a new piece of legislation she says is aimed at getting more people... More >>
13 hours ago Wednesday, October 18 2017 Oct 18, 2017 Wednesday, October 18, 2017 2:24:00 PM CDT October 18, 2017 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A new report sheds light physical confrontations between a Missouri hospital's staff and patients that put the... More >>
13 hours ago Wednesday, October 18 2017 Oct 18, 2017 Wednesday, October 18, 2017 2:13:00 PM CDT October 18, 2017 in News
MOUNTAIN VIEW (AP) — Authorities have confirmed that remains found in March in southern Missouri are a woman who has... More >>
14 hours ago Wednesday, October 18 2017 Oct 18, 2017 Wednesday, October 18, 2017 2:08:00 PM CDT October 18, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA- The MU community made its voice heard Wednesday, laying out the characteristics, qualities and experiences it's looking for in... More >>
14 hours ago Wednesday, October 18 2017 Oct 18, 2017 Wednesday, October 18, 2017 1:20:00 PM CDT October 18, 2017 in News
BOONE COUNTY -As the U.S. House starts working on the 2018 Farm Bill, mid-Missouri's congressional representative talked with agricultural producers... More >>
15 hours ago Wednesday, October 18 2017 Oct 18, 2017 Wednesday, October 18, 2017 12:16:00 PM CDT October 18, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 52°
5am 53°
6am 52°
7am 52°
8am 53°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

4:00a
Early Today
4:30a
KOMU 8 News Today
5:00a
KOMU 8 News Today
4:00a
Paid Program
4:30a
Paid Program
5:00a
Paid Program

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Superstore
7:30p
The Good Place
8:00p
Will & Grace
8:31p
Great News
9:00p
Chicago Fire
7:00p
Supernatural
8:00p
Arrow
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld