Appeals Court Rules Missouri Trooper Unlawfully Fired After Iowa Boater Died in His Custody

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MISSOURI  —  A second Missouri court has ruled that the state trooper whose actions lead to the drowning death of a metro man shouldn’t have been fired.  However that doesn’t mean he’ll be getting his job back.

Former state trooper Anthony Piercy was fired by the Missouri Highway Patrol in 2017 following a lengthy investigation into his improper actions that lead to the drowning death of Brandon Ellingson in 2014.  Ellingson, a 20-year-old Clive man, was taken into custody by Piercy for alleged drunken boating on the Lake of the Ozarks.  Piercy outfitted Ellingson with the wrong type of life jacket and handcuffed him behind his back.  When Ellingson fell from Piercy’s boat he disappeared beneath the water and drowned.

Piercy was fired from the Missouri State Patrol in 2017.  He appealed the firing, claiming that the punishment was beyond what had been recommended by a state board that reviewed his case.   This week the Missouri Court of Appeals agreed with a lower court ruling that Piercy shouldn’t have been fired, according to the Kansas City Star.

Piercy has also been stripped of his law enforcement license in Missouri, so he can’t be reinstated to the state patrol.  He is appealing that ruling as well.  A hearing is scheduled for September in that appeal.


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