Teacher pleads no contest to manslaughter in teen's 2013 drowning at Eastpointe High School

Teacher blamed for death of teen at former East Detroit High School

Johnathan Sails

EASTPOINTE, Mich. – A teacher blamed for the death of a teenager in a high school pool in Eastpointe in 2013 pleaded no contest to manslaughter after the charge was dismissed and later reinstated by the Michigan appeals court.

Johnathan Sails pleaded no contest to involuntary manslaughter Wednesday.

The Michigan appeals court reinstated the charge against Sails after it was thrown out by a Macomb County judge in 2015. But the appeals court said there was enough evidence that Sails was "grossly negligent" by failing to provide immediate assistance to 14-year-old KeAir Swift.

Swift drowned at Eastpointe High School, which used to be called East Detroit High School, in 2013. Prosecutors say Sails was assigned to monitor a remedial swim class but was in the bleachers with his back to the pool when Swift was struggling.