FORSYTH, MO – Taney County Prosecuting Attorney Jeffrey M. Merrell announced today that BRIAN K. FERRIS, dob: 3/22/77 of Walnut Shade, Missouri, entered a “stand up” plea to the class A felony of driving while intoxicated as a prior and persistent felony offender. BRIAN K. FERRIS, was set to begin a jury trial Monday morning but entered a plea of guilty after a jury was selected, but before the jury was seated. Formal sentencing is scheduled for November 18, 2010.

On September 28, 2009, Trooper Stacey Crewse initiated a traffic stop of a vehicle for swerving on U.S. Highway 160, near the Forsyth city limits. During the traffic stop, Trooper Crewse made contact with the driver, BRIAN K. FERRIS. During his contact, Trooper Stacey Crewse observed indicators of intoxication including bloodshot, glassy eyes, and a moderate odor of intoxicants. Trooper Crewse observed two globs of toothpaste on the defendant’s right hand and arm. Trooper Crewse determined this was mint toothpaste the defendant was trying to use to mask the smell of alcohol. After multiple clues of impairment were observed during Standardized Field Sobriety Tests, Trooper Crewse arrested BRIAN K. FERRIS and transported him to the Taney County Jail. At the jail BRIAN K. FERRIS refused chemical tests of both his breath and blood. BRIAN K. FERRIS has four prior alcohol related traffic convictions, including a conviction of alcohol related felony involuntary manslaughter.

In response to the surprise plea of guilty during trial, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Tiffany Yarnell stated that she was “grateful for the hard work of Missouri State Troopers like Stacey Crewse in keeping Missouri roadways safe, and without his expertise and thorough investigation this plea of guilty would not have been possible. The citizens of Taney County owe a debt of gratitude to him.”

Formal sentencing is set for November 18, 2010. As a prior and persistent felon, and a chronic alcohol offender, the defendant faces the maximum range of punishment for that of an A felony of up to thirty years, or life imprisonment in the Missouri Department of Corrections.