Special Prosecutor to Review Brandon Ellingson Case

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Brandon-EllingsonDES MOINES, Iowa – A special prosecutor is reviewing the case of a Clive man who drowned while in the custody of a Missouri State High Patrol trooper.

Brandon Ellingson, 20,  drowned at the Lake of the Ozarks after being handcuffed and taken into custody for allegedly boating while intoxicated. Witnesses said his life jacket wasn’t put on him properly and it came off Ellingson when he slipped or fell out of Trooper Anthony Piercy’s boat.

Special prosecutor Amanda Grellner told the Kansas City Star she has received new information and will be reviewing the case.

During a coroner’s inquest in September, Piercy testified he wasn’t trained on how to use life jackets. The jury decided the drowning was accidental, which is one of the reasons Special Prosecutor Amanda Grellner said she would not file criminal charges.

In December, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said he would review the case for possible criminal or civil rights violations following a request from Iowa Senator Charles Grassley.

Ellingson’s family filed two lawsuits following their son’s death. The lawsuits accuse the Missouri State Patrol of negligence. They also claim the Morgan County coroner conspired to cover up the facts in Ellingson’s death. The coroner ruled there was no wrongdoing on the part of the state patrol.

“We know a lot about what happened but there is lot that hasn’t been uncovered to us that we know about and we just want the truth to the come out and the people responsible to come forward and tell the truth,” Craig Ellingson, Brandon’s father, told Channel 13 Jodi’s Whitworth in December.

A witness from Missouri drove to Iowa and talked with Channel 13. Larry Moreau says he supports the lawsuits. He and his family were at the lake that day of the incident and saw Brandon standing up in the patrol boat. Moreau say he did not see Ellingson fall into the water but he believes that’s the part authorities are keeping from the public. Moreau did say he saw the trooper maneuver his boat quickly towards the man in the water but didn’t immediately reach in to grab Ellingson.




  • bjertbjaeger

    A drunk guy with cocaine in his system fell off a boat and drowned, and all the silly white people are whining like babies as if someone murdered the guy.

    The same losers would be calling it a tragic accident that couldn’t be prevented had their golden drunk hit a family and killed them and attacking the family of the victim for calling him a murderer.

    He has no one to blame for his death but himself. Are they suing the bar that gave him the booze? Are they suing the drug dealer that gave him the cocaine? Now, they go after a cop, who wouldn;t even have been involved but for the reckless behavior and drug abuse of the deceased.

    How much you want to bet when they had their memorials and gatherings to “say goodbye” they had booze too.

    • John B.

      Yes, he may have been intoxicated but that doesn’t mean he deserved the death penalty. The police officer had a responsibility to take reasonable steps to protect Brandon’s life while he was in the officer’s custody. The officer put him in handcuffs, he did not properly secure Brandon’s life jacket and then he bounced his patrol boat across the lake at a high rate of speed. It seems very possible that the officer is guilty of negligence.

      • bjertbjaeger

        So you’re screaming mad about the guy who was able to escape a squad car handcuffed and run into traffic and get killed too?

        It’s amazing how sympathy depends on so many things other than reality…

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