May 27, 2014 at 4:29 pm

Hearing set for swim monitor charged in East Detroit high school drowning

Sails (David Coates / The Detroit News)

A swim monitor charged in the November drowning of a teenager in a high school pool is scheduled to appear June 30 for a pretrial conference in Macomb Circuit Court.

On Tuesday, Johnathan Sails, 25, waived his arraignment and the formal reading of the charges against him, according to court records.

Sails has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and if convicted, faces up to 15 years in prison and a fine of $7,500. He remains free on a $25,000 bond.

Police and the county prosecutor’s office say Sails, a substitute teacher, was supervising a swimming class Nov. 8 when a ninth-grader, 14-year-old KeAir Swift, sank to the bottom of the East Detroit High School pool and drowned.

Authorities say Sails was in the bleachers on the pool deck when the boy was drowning. An assistant principal jumped into the water and pulled KeAir to the surface, officials say.

KeAir died just days after being removed from life support at Detroit’s St. John Hospital.

Sails’ attorney, Robert Leonetti, has maintained his client was one of the first people who tried to save KeAir. He has also said the school district and officials who left his client alone to supervise the swimming class are to blame for the teen’s death.
(313) 222-2058