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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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Mulvaney held up missiles to Ukraine out of fear Russia would be angry: State Department official

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Among the many revelations in the transcript of Ukraine Special Adviser Catherine Croft's testimony to the House is the fact that acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, who also oversees the Office of Management and Budget, put a hold on a shipment of Javelin missiles to Ukraine not just as part of an apparent scheme to force Ukrainian officials to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden, but also out of concern that Russia would be angry.

"In a briefing with Mr. Mulvaney, the question centered around the Russian reaction," said Croft in the transcript. When pressed, she added the fear was specifically "that Russia would react negatively to the provision of javelins to Ukraine."

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READ IT: Foreign service officer Christopher Anderson testimony to House Intelligence Committee on impeachment

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Foreign service officer Christopher Anderson served as the deputy to former U.S. envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker. When he spoke to the House Intelligence Committee, he revealed what he witnessed when President Donald Trump made the July 25 call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Anderson joined colleague Catherine Croft in testifying to the House and both of their testimonies were released Monday, just days ahead of the open hearings are scheduled to begin.

Anderson specifically revealed that Trump's anti-corruption defense was revealed to be false. You can read his testimony in the document embedded below:

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Trump’s anti-corruption defense blown away by State Department official in newly released testimony

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President Donald Trump's contention that his efforts to get dirt on the family of former Vice President Joe Biden were part of an anti-corruption focus was undermined by testimony that was released by Congress on Monday.

The testimony was released by Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-CA), the chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Rep. Eliot L. Engel (D-NY), the chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), the acting chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform.

“Catherine Croft and Christopher Anderson, both advisors to Ambassador Kurt Volker on Ukraine policy, testified before the Committees about concerns they had with efforts to press Ukraine into announcing specific investigations which would help President Trump politically," the three chairpeople said in a joint statement. "Ms. Croft also testified that Ukrainian officials approached her quietly about the hold on security assistance in the July or August timeframe, before the hold had been made public.”

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