The former Missouri State trooper who was driving a boat when a handcuffed Iowa man fell out and drowned is not giving up a fight to regain his peace officers’ license.
Anthony Piercy is suing the Missouri Department of Public Safety and the agency’s director to get back his license.
Twenty-year-old Brandon Ellingson of Clive, Iowa died at the Lake of the Ozarks in 2014 after falling out of Piercy’s patrol boat. Craig Ellingson is Brandon’s father.
“You know, seriously, he should be in prison. He’s lucky he’s not,” Ellingson said. “If (he) was a civilian, (he’d) probably be in prison.”
Piercy was sentenced last September to 10 days in jail and community service after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of negligent operation of a vessel.
Craig Ellingson says he’s “fed up” and thought Piercy would “go away” once his license was revoked. “The Trooper’s Association in Missouri is protecting him and the Missouri Highway Patrol…I just don’t get it,” Ellingson said. “They just don’t remember – they killed my son and that guy does not deserve to be a cop.”
In June, a Cole County judge in mid-Missouri ruled the patrol’s leader did not have the authority to fire Piercy.
According to Ellingson, Piercy has shown “no remorse” for what happened four years ago. “None at all, he’s acting like he’s the victim,” Ellingson said.
Brandon Ellingson was arrested on suspicion of drunken boating. An investigation found Piercy placed an already-buckled life vest over Ellingson, whose hands were cuffed behind his back. The vest fell off as Ellingson entered the lake when the boat – traveling at speeds up to 46 miles an hour – hit a wave.
A special prosecutor charged Piercy with involuntary manslaughter, but he later pleaded guilty to negligent boating.
Missourinet sister network Radio Iowa contributed this report