Posted on September 4, 2014 at 3:40 PM
VERSAILLES, Mo. (AP) -- Jurors have ruled that the death of a handcuffed Iowa suspect who drowned at the Lake of the Ozarks was accidental.
The ruling was issued Thursday after a Morgan County coroner's inquest into the death of 20-year-old Brandon Ellingson. The decision means the jurors saw no negligence on the part of Trooper Anthony Piercy.
Ellingson went into the water May 31 as Piercy was transporting him from the lake on suspicion of boating while intoxicated. Witnesses said previously that Ellingson's arms weren't in the holes of the Type III, ski-vest style of life jacket that Piercy put on him.
Piercy testified during the hearing that he lacked training to handle the situation. The jury's decision isn't binding, but it will be passed to a special prosecutor for consideration.