- Associated Press - Thursday, September 10, 2015

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri State Highway Patrol employee, who criticized the agency after an Iowa man fell from a patrol boat and drowned in the Lake of the Ozarks, has requested to view two depositions later this month to support his claim that disciplinary action taken against him is unwarranted.

Sgt. Randy Henry’s attorney, C. John “Chet” Pleban, said his client was demoted for “misconduct,” but the Highway Patrol hasn’t released its formal complaint against the patrolman. The patrol demoted Henry to corporal and moved him from the Lake of Ozarks, where had patrolled for nearly three decades.

Henry had complained about the agency’s handling of the investigation into the drowning of Brandon Ellingson, 20. He also raised questions about the training the involved officers received before being assigned to water duties.

Henry has requested to see the depositions of Osage County Prosecutor Amanda Grellner and her son, the Jefferson City News-Tribune (https://bit.ly/1UF1leh ) reported. A judge will review Henry’s request Sept. 22 after a different judge issued a “temporary order” blocking subpoenas for the depositions.

Pleban said the Patrol began its case against Henry based on a complaint from Grellner, who was named as a special prosecutor in the Ellingson case last year, but then removed herself from it last March, citing a “conflict of interest” that she hasn’t explained.

Ellingson drowned on May 31, 2014, while in the custody of a veteran road trooper. The trooper had pulled over Ellingson on suspicion of boating while intoxicated, handcuffed Ellingson’s wrists behind his back and then pulled an already buckled life vest, with armholes, over his head and upper torso, according to witnesses.

The vest, which wasn’t properly secured, came off shortly after Ellingson tumbled into the water during transport to a zone office for a breath test. Jurors found the death to be accidental, and Grellner announced days later that she would not file criminal charges against the trooper.


Information from: Jefferson City News Tribune, https://www.newstribune.com

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