Trooper involved in lake drowning death gets probation, 10 days in jail

1 year 2 days 6 hours ago Tuesday, September 19 2017 Sep 19, 2017 Tuesday, September 19, 2017 3:21:00 PM CDT September 19, 2017 in Top Stories
By: Jamie Grey, KOMU 8 Managing Editor, Matthew Schmittdiel, KOMU Reporter
loading

LAKE OF THE OZARKS - The state trooper who had Brandon Ellingson in his custody when he drowned in 2014 was in court for sentencing on Tuesday. The judge sentenced Anthony Piercy to two years of probation and 10 days in jail.

Piercy pleaded guilty to misdemeanor negligent operation of a vessel. Prosecutors initially charged Piercy with involuntary manslaughter, but he took a deal to plead to the lesser charge.

"I would have loved to have him for manslaughter," Special Prosecutor William Camm Seay said after the sentencing. "But if you know what's going on in this community, I was concerned there would be jury absolution and that because he held such a high position in the community, they would have walked him. And I didn't want to take that risk, and I discussed that with the victim. So we got what we could get."

In May 2014, Piercy arrested Ellingson for suspicion of boating while intoxicated. Ellingson was handcuffed with a life jacket improperly fastened around him on a patrol boat when he fell into the lake. Piercy was driving the boat, and though reports said he jumped in after Ellingson, he did not save him.

Piercy had previously testified that he did not receive any formal training on how to use the life vest or which one to use. He had also said he wasn't trained on what to do if someone in custody went into the water.

In court on Tuesday, Ellingson's father, Craig Ellingson spoke, saying Piercy was directly responsible for his son's death and did not know how to use safety equipment. After the sentencing, he spoke with the media about his feelings on the now lengthy case.

"You know it's been three and a half years and it's over," Craig Ellingson said. "Someday, like I wrote in my statement, justice will prevail. I am a Christian. I believe in forgiveness, but god loves justice also. ... Someday he'll meet his maker when he takes his last breath, and he'll have to answer for what he did."

During his sentencing, Piercy apologized and said, "I apologize for the loss that I've caused the Ellingson family." 

To see his full statement, see the video below: 

There was discussion during sentencing about whether Piercy should lose his law enforcement license, but the judge said he did not have the authority to make any decisions on the trooper's license.

KOMU 8 News has a reporter at the courthouse in Versailles and will update this story with reaction from Ellingson's family.

Below is a timeline of the case, previously published by KOMU in June 2017.

Related Stories

More News

Grid
List
SPRINGFIELD — President Trump held a campaign-style rally in Springfield Friday. Trump spoke in front of an at-capacity crowd... More >>
5 hours ago Friday, September 21 2018 Sep 21, 2018 Friday, September 21, 2018 10:15:00 PM CDT September 21, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A 46-year-old woman who set a fire that resulted in the deaths of two Kansas City... More >>
9 hours ago Friday, September 21 2018 Sep 21, 2018 Friday, September 21, 2018 6:22:51 PM CDT September 21, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Emissions near a troubled St. Louis County landfill once posed health concerns for workers and nearby... More >>
10 hours ago Friday, September 21 2018 Sep 21, 2018 Friday, September 21, 2018 5:02:52 PM CDT September 21, 2018 in News
JOPLIN (AP) — Missouri Southern State University has abandoned plans for a dental school that would've operated in partnership with... More >>
11 hours ago Friday, September 21 2018 Sep 21, 2018 Friday, September 21, 2018 4:51:59 PM CDT September 21, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Some St. Louis police officers are still struggling with injuries more than a year after protesters... More >>
11 hours ago Friday, September 21 2018 Sep 21, 2018 Friday, September 21, 2018 4:44:27 PM CDT September 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia police said a fifth arrest has been made in connection with an alleged homicide on Sylvan Lane... More >>
12 hours ago Friday, September 21 2018 Sep 21, 2018 Friday, September 21, 2018 3:50:00 PM CDT September 21, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Police arrested a man early Friday after reportedly finding him outside an apartment complex, looking into a... More >>
12 hours ago Friday, September 21 2018 Sep 21, 2018 Friday, September 21, 2018 3:27:00 PM CDT September 21, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY - The Missouri Western District Court of Appeals ruled Friday to allow the Clean Missouri Initiative to stay... More >>
13 hours ago Friday, September 21 2018 Sep 21, 2018 Friday, September 21, 2018 2:53:00 PM CDT September 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – MU is one of only two Southeastern Conference universities to experience double-digit growth in new freshmen, while several... More >>
14 hours ago Friday, September 21 2018 Sep 21, 2018 Friday, September 21, 2018 1:12:00 PM CDT September 21, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD - President Donald Trump is set to campaign at the JQH Arena for U.S. Senate candidate Josh Hawley,... More >>
15 hours ago Friday, September 21 2018 Sep 21, 2018 Friday, September 21, 2018 12:43:00 PM CDT September 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri Board of Curators announced a resolution Friday supporting the University of Missouri-Columbia's efforts to... More >>
16 hours ago Friday, September 21 2018 Sep 21, 2018 Friday, September 21, 2018 11:23:00 AM CDT September 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - 82,000 Americans are still missing as the result of our country's biggest wars. POW/MIA Recognition Day is... More >>
16 hours ago Friday, September 21 2018 Sep 21, 2018 Friday, September 21, 2018 10:59:00 AM CDT September 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Planned Parenthood clinic will stop abortion services after Oct. 1 following a court ruling allowing the... More >>
17 hours ago Friday, September 21 2018 Sep 21, 2018 Friday, September 21, 2018 10:20:00 AM CDT September 21, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump challenged the woman accusing his Supreme Court nominee of sexual assault by name Friday,... More >>
18 hours ago Friday, September 21 2018 Sep 21, 2018 Friday, September 21, 2018 9:31:00 AM CDT September 21, 2018 in News
FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — The daughter of an 84-year-old woman with dementia alleges in a lawsuit that... More >>
19 hours ago Friday, September 21 2018 Sep 21, 2018 Friday, September 21, 2018 8:45:00 AM CDT September 21, 2018 in News
VIENNA - 27 year-old Anthony Macclugage has been charged with endangering the welfare of a child, felony Domestic Assault and... More >>
21 hours ago Friday, September 21 2018 Sep 21, 2018 Friday, September 21, 2018 6:22:00 AM CDT September 21, 2018 in News
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Attorneys general from West Virginia and 10 other states are asking the U.S.... More >>
22 hours ago Friday, September 21 2018 Sep 21, 2018 Friday, September 21, 2018 5:34:37 AM CDT September 21, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- From January 2016 through February 2018, puppies sold at six pet store companies led to infections in 118... More >>
23 hours ago Friday, September 21 2018 Sep 21, 2018 Friday, September 21, 2018 4:26:41 AM CDT September 21, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 58°
4am 57°
5am 56°
6am 54°
7am 53°