A 32-year-old Stratford man convicted of driving drunk when his car broke through the ice on the Big Eau Pleine Reservoir east of Rozellville on January 2012 killing another man will spend three years in prison and three years on extended supervision.
Investigators say William Bowden had a blood alcohol level of 0.152 when he was driving on the ice after a day of ice fishing, but when he got near the County Road S bridge, the vehicle broke through.
Bowden was able to get out of the water, but Timothy Spindler, 34, who was in the passenger seat, drowned.
Bowden's attorney said his client wasn't behind the wheel the moment the vehicle went through, that he and Spindler changed positions before they go to the bridge, and that Spindler was actually driving at that moment.
Marathon County District Attorney Ken Heimerman says only Bowden's DNA was found on the steering wheel and officers followed the tire tracks and found no physical evidence of them getting out and switching places.
During a plea hearing in January, Bowden pleaded guilty to his 4th offense OWI. As results five other counts, including homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle, and obstructing an officer were dismissed.
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