JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A judge has found that the head of the Missouri State Highway Patrol went too far in firing a trooper after he was convicted of a misdemeanor in the drowning death of a handcuffed Iowa man.
Cole County Judge Patricia Joyce ruled Wednesday that the patrol’s superintendent can’t go beyond the recommendation of a disciplinary review board that found Anthony Piercy should be reinstated as a trooper and relocated. Joyce sent the case back to the patrol for consideration of a new, lesser punishment.
Piercy was taking 20-year-old Brandon Ellingson for a breath test when the Arizona State University student tumbled into the Lake of the Ozarks wearing an improperly secured life vest and drowned. Ellingson was from the Des Moines suburb of Clive.