VERSAILLES, Mo. (AP) — A state trooper charged with involuntary manslaughter after an Iowa man drowned after falling from a patrol boat into a Missouri lake has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor boating violation.
Trooper Anthony Piercy pleaded guilty Tuesday to negligent operation of a vessel in the May 2014 death of 20-year-old Brandon Ellingson, of Clive, Iowa. Piercy was scheduled for trial July 10 in Morgan County.
Piercy had stopped Ellingson at the Lake of the Ozarks on suspicion of boating while intoxicated.
While riding in a boat driven by Piercy, Ellingson fell into the lake while wearing handcuffs and an improperly secured life vest. Piercy jumped into the lake but couldn’t save him.
The state of Missouri last year paid $9 million to Ellingson’s family.