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

9 months 1 week 6 days 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
SANTA ANA, CALIFORNIA (AP) — Wet and muddy from their trek across the Mexican border, immigrant children say they sat... More >>
58 minutes ago Wednesday, July 18 2018 Jul 18, 2018 Wednesday, July 18, 2018 10:50:00 AM CDT July 18, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- The 12 members of a youth soccer team and their coach who spent more than two weeks trapped... More >>
3 hours ago Wednesday, July 18 2018 Jul 18, 2018 Wednesday, July 18, 2018 8:24:00 AM CDT July 18, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A Missouri program aimed at connecting stroke, heart attack and trauma patients with the best care... More >>
3 hours ago Wednesday, July 18 2018 Jul 18, 2018 Wednesday, July 18, 2018 8:17:00 AM CDT July 18, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- The owner of the Mandalay Bay hotel says it bears no liability in last year's Las Vegas concert... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, July 18 2018 Jul 18, 2018 Wednesday, July 18, 2018 6:32:00 AM CDT July 18, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A 61-year-old southwest Missouri woman has been sentenced to life in prison for an ambush-style shooting of... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, July 18 2018 Jul 18, 2018 Wednesday, July 18, 2018 6:08:59 AM CDT July 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - An arrest for suspicion of filing a false report has been made in connection to a reported robbery... More >>
12 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 11:44:00 PM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - After four days of searching, Jerry Kinman has been found dead near Little Dixie Lake. Kinman,... More >>
13 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 10:19:00 PM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
STURGEON - The carnival rides at the Boone County Fair closed unexpectedly just hours after the fair opened because they... More >>
14 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 9:00:00 PM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A democratic candidate for Missouri's fourth congressional district criticized the Republican incumbent Tuesday for her lack of action... More >>
17 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 6:46:00 PM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Chamber of Commerce harshly criticized the city council at Monday night's meeting regarding projects being put... More >>
17 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 6:41:00 PM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Hy-Vee recalled its Spring Pasta Salad from 244 stores on Tuesday. Company officials said 20 illnesses by... More >>
17 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 5:54:00 PM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
MEXICO - Josh Hawley faced questions about President Donald Trump's summit with Russia as well as tariffs facing Missouri farmers... More >>
18 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 5:31:00 PM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Construction crews began adding a turn lane for an upcoming Columbia middle school on South Sinclair Road on... More >>
20 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 2:58:00 PM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
BOONE COUNTY – Expecting mothers in Boone County will soon have more services at their disposal. The county received... More >>
21 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 2:16:00 PM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Grain Belt Express Clean Line, a proposed energy transmission project through northern Missouri, got new life... More >>
21 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 1:59:00 PM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
ASHLAND - A child identification program wants to help parents be as prepared as possible in the event that a... More >>
22 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 1:41:00 PM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Nineteen agencies received more than $115,000 in grant money Tuesday from the United Way of Central Missouri.... More >>
23 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 11:56:00 AM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Some people may notice their trash laying out on the curb for longer than usual on Tuesday. ... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 11:12:00 AM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 81°
12pm 83°
1pm 84°
2pm 85°
3pm 83°