Teacher sentenced to probation in teen's 2013 drowning at Eastpointe High School

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

EASTPOINTE, Mich. - A teacher blamed for the death of a teenager in a high school pool in Eastpointe in 2013 faced sentencing Wednesday.

Johnathan Sails pleaded no contest to involuntary manslaughter Wednesday after the charge was dismissed and later reinstated by the Michigan appeals court.

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.

“You lied about your credentials,” KeAir Swift’s mother said at the sentencing hearing. “When you looked in the pool and saw my son drowning you said you had to change your clothes. You left him for dead.”

Sails addressed the family prior to sentencing.

"I humbly want to send my condolences to the whole family," Sails said. "I just want to take my part of this tragic incident and take my responsibility."

Sails was sentenced to two years probation.

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