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Judge dismisses charge in East Detroit High School pool drowning

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EASTPOINTE, Mich. – LaKisha Swift-Hudson says not a day goes by that she doesn't think about her 14-year-old son, KeAir Swift, losing his life two years ago in a swim class at East Detroit High School.

"It seems like yesterday," Swift-Hudson said. "I remember every word of the first call I got. I go through this every single day."

Jonathan Sails was charged with involuntary manslaughter in KeAir's death, but that charge was dismissed Monday. The judge in the case tied his ruling to a State Supreme Court civil lawsuit with similar facts.

"I will not stop fighting for my baby until justice is served in the right way because there are no similarities in those cases that they're trying to compare them too," Swift-Hudson said.

The prosecution argued that Sails, a substitute teacher in the class, lied about being a lifeguard. Witnesses testified that Sails went to change his clothes before jumping into the pool to help KeAir and quickly got out, saying the water was too deep.

Sails' defense attorney, Robert Leonetti, says his client did everything he could to rescue KeAir.

"I've argued and the facts presented that once it became objectively clear that KeAir was drowning, the first teacher, the first person in the water, was Jonathan Sailes," Leonetti said. "He was the first one who jumped in to try to save the boy once it was clear he was drowning."

But words are little consolation for any mother who's had to bury her child.

"I think every day, 'what was my son going through?' What were the thoughts he was having as he was drowning," Swift-Hudson said.


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