Two federal lawsuits have been filed by the family of the Iowa man who drowned while in the custody of the state Water Patrol on the Lake of the Ozarks in May.
KCCI TV reports the family of Brandon Ellingson is suing the State Highway Patrol, of which the Water Patrol is a division, and Trooper Anthony Piercy; the trooper that arrested Ellingson.
Piercy handcuffed Ellingson and improperly put a life jacket on him. Ellingson then fell out of Piercy’s patrol boat and drowned after the jacket slipped off. A coroner’s jury in September ruled the death an accident and a special prosecutor said no charges would be filed against Piercy.
The suits make claims against Piercy, the Patrol, and others who investigated the drowning that it accuses of covering up facts during the investigation.