Judge in Missouri Recommends Federal Charges be Dropped Against Three Men in Duck Boat Case

A judge in Missouri is recommending that federal charges be dropped against the 3 men charged in connection with the sinking of a duck boat near Branson that killed 17 people.

Scott McKee, Curtis Lanham and Charles Baltzell were all charged in a 57-count indictment that was unsealed in June 2019.

McKee was the boat’s captain, Lanhum the general manager for Ride the Ducks Branson, and Baltzell was the manager on duty the day the boat sank.

According to court records, a ruling was issued on Friday, by US District Court of Western Chief Magistrate Judge David P. Rush who listed one of the reasons for dismissing the indictment was that Table Rock Lake is not considered navigable as a matter admiralty law, and if the three defendants are to be prosecuted, the case should be handled at the state level and not federal court.