Missouri state troop pleads guilty in the drowning death of a handcuffed man has been sentenced to just 10 days in prison. Anthony Piercy of the Missouri Highway Patrol will also serve two years of probation and must complete 50 hours of community service, the Kansas City Star reported.
Judge Roger Prokes handed down a “Shocking Sentencing” which not only was a shock to the prosecutor but the victims family as well,the judge order Anthony Piercy to serve jail in five two day terms.
Piercy plead guilty to a minor boating accident in May 2014 which caused the death of Brandon Ellingson, Piercy managed to avoid a manslaughter charge by copping to a lesser offense. Ellingson was arrested on the “Lake Ozarks” for suspicion of driving a boat while intoxicated, the troop Piercy handcuffed 20 year old Ellingson and put the suspect in a life vest. While the troops proceeded driving the suspect was knocked off the boat into the water when the boat went over a wave causing the life vest to come off and the handcuffed suspect to fall into the water and drown.
Ellingson’s father, Craig, was irate at the judge’s 10-day sentence, which is set to begin Friday.
“Ten days is like a vacation,” he told the Kansas City Star on Tuesday. “It’s a joke. … He knows he’s guilty and he’s damn lucky to get what he got.” “Anthony Piercy, it has been almost 3 1/2 years that I’ve waited to tell you face to face that you’re the reason why my son Brandon is dead,” an emotional Craig Ellingson said in his three-page statement, according to the Kansas City Star. “You had no compassion for my son.”
Last year the family was awarded 9 million in a wrongful death lawsuit against the “State of Missouri” after a 3 1/2 year battle.
Piercy, was given the opportunity to speak, addressed Ellingson’s family.
“I apologize for the loss that I have caused the Ellingson family,” the trooper said from the defense table. “I know that nothing that I will say will ease the pain that they are feeling.” “And I will never forget that I am the cause of that pain. I am truly sorry for that. Brandon should be here with them today. Thank you.”
The prosecutor was shocked and taken back because the plan was to have Piercy serve a 30 day stint in jail and to have his certification taken away for life.
“It’s my hope he (Piercy) never ever serves as a law enforcement officer again,” Special Prosecutor William Camm Seay told the Kansas City Star after the sentencing. “I’ve fulfilled my obligation but I feel like I have an obligation to the Ellingson family to see this out.”