Probation for drunk driver in fatal crash

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Swan

COEUR d’ALENE — A 45-year-old Coeur d’Alene man who was drunk when he crashed into a stalled vehicle, killing a passenger in a snowstorm on Interstate 90, might not serve any prison time.

District Judge Scott Wayman allowed William Swan to be released on probation Thursday as part of a suspended sentence that includes a two-year minimum sentence if Swan violates probation, and a maximum of seven years in prison.

Swan was charged with manslaughter after the Dec. 29, 2017, crash that killed 16-year-old Jacob Leeder, the son of a Kootenai County sheriff’s deputy.

In exchange for dismissing the involuntary manslaughter charge against him, Swan pleaded guilty to aggravated DUI and for not having a driver’s license when his 2000 Chevy Silverado T-boned a green, 1995 Acura that was stalled at night on the slushy road near the Fourth Street exit.

The plea bargain called for a suspended seven-year prison term. That allows Swan to be placed on supervised probation for two years, and be regularly tested for alcohol or drug use.

Swan was arrested after crashing into the Acura driven by Jacob Leeder’s brother, Jonah, 20, of Coeur d’Alene. The juvenile was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. His older brother was transported from Kootenai Health to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane before being moved to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

Following the crash, Idaho State Police attempted to get a breath sample from Swan, but he refused, according to court records.

Swan, who was wanted for a misdemeanor in Washington at the time of the crash, was initially charged with felony manslaughter, felony DUI, possessing drug paraphernalia and driving without privileges. His bond was set at $200,000.

An earlier sentencing date was vacated because Swan’s presentence investigation, which helps judges determine appropriate sentences, had not been completed.

Swan was also fined $5,000, and his driver’s license was suspended for five years.

For driving without privileges, Swan was ordered to serve 180 days in jail and be credited for the time he already served.

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