A Morgan County coroner’s jury has ruled the drowning of a man in the custody of a state trooper on the Lake of the Ozarks was an accident.
The trooper testified that he wasn’t trained in how to make an arrest on the water, how to put a life jacket on a handcuffed suspect or what to do in a rescue situation.
20-year-old Brandon Ellingson died May 31 after falling out of a patrol boat while handcuffed. Ellingson, who had been arrested for suspicion of boating while intoxicated, slipped out of the life jacket the trooper had put on him and sank to the bottom of the Lake.
The trooper, Anthony Piercy, says he still needs more training after switching from being a road trooper to a water patrol trooper.
Ellingson’s family tells the St. Louis Post-Dispatch it’s disappointed, and thinks Piercy should face criminal charges.