Radio Iowa’s Dar Danielson and Missourinet’s Bill Wise contributed to this story
Missouri will pay a $9 million settlement to the family of an Iowa college student who drowned in handcuffs while in the custody of a state trooper in 2014. The settlement ends a civil lawsuit that Brandon Ellingon’s family filed in federal court.
Highway Patrol trooper Anthony Piercy took the 20-year-old Ellingson into custody on May 31st of 2014 on suspicion of boating while intoxicated. Ellingson was handcuffed and fell out of the boat on the way back to shore and drowned.
The attorneys for the family released a statement that says the Ellingsons “wish to express their deep and sincere appreciation to the tens of thousands of people in Iowa, Missouri, Arizona, and across the country who have supported them during this very difficult time.” It goes on to say that “No amount of money will lessen the suffering that the Ellingson family, relatives, and friends have endured since his death two and a half years ago.”
A hearing in the manslaughter case against Piercy is set for Monday in central Missouri’s Morgan County. Piercy is on unpaid administrative leave.