Federal charges in deadly Branson duck boat case may be dismissed

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Stretch Duck 7 being removed from Table Rock Lake in Branson, Missouri, July 23, 2018

Kansas City National Public Radio station KCUR reported Friday that U.S. Magistrate Judge David P. Rush has recommended that federal criminal charges be dismissed against three men indicted in relation to the 2018 sinking of a duck boat in Branson, Mo., that killed 17 people.

The boat’s captain Kenneth Scott McKee was indicted in November 2018 on charges of misconduct, negligence, or inattention to duty by a ship’s officer, resulting in the death of another person. McKee was charged with one count for each of the 17 passengers (including one crew member) who died when Stretch Duck 7 sank.

A 47-count indictment unsealed in June 2019 accused Curtis Lanham, the general manager of the boat’s operator, Ride the Ducks Branson, and Charles Baltzell, the manager on duty that day, with a variety of neglect and misconduct charges.

Those indictments were brought under Admiralty. However, reports KCUR, “in his report Friday, U.S. Magistrate Judge David P. Rush concluded the charges should be dismissed because Table Rock Lake is not considered a navigable waterway under admiralty law.”

Read the KCUR story HERE.

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