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Boater who killed swimmer on Gull Lake is sent to prison

March 15, 2022 GMT

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) — A man who was drunk when his boat struck and killed an 18-year-old swimmer in southwestern Michigan has been sentenced to at least 15 months in prison.

“The decision I made to drive that boat while intoxicated … was the single worse choice I’ve ever made in my life,” Tyler Boyd of Richland said in a Kalamazoo County court Monday.

Boyd, 39, was on Gull Lake over the July 4 weekend last year when his boat hit Jack Mitchell. His blood-alcohol level exceeded the legal limit.

Boyd pleaded guilty in January to operating a boat while intoxicated causing death.

Jennifer Mitchell said her son was a “perfect child.”

“Cases like this never have any winners, only losers,” Judge Gary Giguere Jr. said. “Two families are permanently affected. No one gets the closure that they want at a sentencing hearing.”

Boyd will be eligible for parole after 15 months in prison.