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Missouri trooper plea bargains down to misdemeanor in drowning death of hand-cuffed suspect

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A Missouri water patrol trooper agreed to a misdemeanor plead deal with prosecutors, two weeks before the trooper’s felony manslaughter trial was scheduled to begin.

Missouri state Trooper Anthony Piercy was facing trial for involuntary manslaughter in the drowning death of a handcuffed 20-year-old, the Kansas City Star reports.

“Anthony Piercy avoided a jury trial when he told the judge he was guilty of negligent operation of a vessel in the death of Brandon Ellingson, 20, in late May 2014,” the KC Star reported. “That charge is a Class B misdemeanor, far less than the felony the trooper faced.”

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Under the felony charges, Piercy was facing seven years in prison, a year in county jail or a fine of $5,000 as punishment, or any combination of those, if convicted of the felony. Now Piercy is only facing possibility of up to six months in jail and/or a $500 fine.

The case has been controversial from the start.

“The surprising plea left some of Brandon Ellingson’s family members — most notably his mother — feeling no justice had been served,” the KC Star reminded. “The Ellingson family has insisted that after the drowning, there was a coverup by the state and patrol officials who initially stated that Brandon Ellingson may have jumped from Piercy’s boat. Some details Piercy provided the night of the drowning changed, and no one trained in water patrol operations was involved in the Highway Patrol’s investigation into what happened.”

In fact, a Missouri highway patrol officer who criticized the department for the coverup was more harshly punished than the officer who failed to secure a life vest on the deceased man. Trooper Randy Henry was demoted from sergeant to corporal for whistleblowing on the department’s coverup.

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Henry suggested the cover-up was meant to shield Gov. Jay Nixon (D-MO) from criticism after he had pushed for a merger between the state’s water and highway patrol agencies.

“There’s been a cover-up from the beginning,” Henry said in 2015. “They wanted to protect the governor and the merger and protect Piercy from criminal charges because criminal charges would be a black eye for the patrol.”

“We’re not done,” Special Prosecutor William Camm Seay said. “There’s still a punishment to dole out to Anthony Piercy, and I think he’s worthy of being punished.”

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Watch KCCI explain how Valley High School is honoring Brandon Ellingson, who was captain of the football team:


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‘Stand with Hong Kong’ shirts fill the stands at Nets game as NBA is protested for China subservience

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The National Basketball Association was protested on Friday for bowing to pressure from China.

The NBA has been harshly criticized for standing by the oppressive regime instead of standing in solidarity with the pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.

"Producer and activist Andrew Duncan bought 300 tickets to tonight's Nets vs Raptors game and is hosting hundreds of Chinese pro-Democracy activists to protest the NBA," New York magazine correspondent Yashar Ali reported Friday. "They're all wearing 'Stand With Hong Kong' T-shirts."

Photos from the protest:

1. Producer and activist Andrew Duncan bought 300 tickets to tonight's Nets vs Raptors game and is hosting hundreds of Chinese pro-Democracy activists to protest the NBA.

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Trump polling close friends over whether he should fire Mulvaney: report

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President Donald Trump is considering firing Mick Mulvaney, his acting White House chief of staff and director of the Office of Management and Budget, The Atlantic reported Friday.

"Mick Mulvaney's job was in danger even before his disastrous press conference yesterday, and his equally disastrous attempt to walk that performance back," The Atlantic reported. "The fumble could not have been more poorly timed: According to multiple current and former White House officials, many of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity to relay private conversations, Trump has been steadily souring on Mulvaney for weeks."

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Michael Moore predicts Mick Mulvaney will get into Heaven after confessing Trump’s quid pro quo

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Academy Award-winning filmmaker Michael Moore predicted acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney will ascend to Heaven in the afterlife during a Friday interview on MSNBC's "The Beat" with Ari Melber.

The host played a clip of Mulvaney admitting Trump's quid pro quo while seeking foreign election assistance from Ukraine.

"This man obviously is going to be admitted into Heaven," Moore said. "You know, he told the truth."

"If there was a movie version of this, somebody stuck him with a needle just before he walked out onto the stage there, a truth serum needle, and he just went on and on saying, 'Yeah, that’s what we do. Yeah, of course.' Essentially admitting there is a quid pro quo. In fact, there are many quid pro quos."

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