HARRISON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A 55-year-old man had been drinking while operating a boat that a suburban Detroit fire chief jumped from before drowning.

The Detroit Free Press reports Friday that William Jeffrey Jr. of Troy pleaded guilty during a Thursday arraignment to misdemeanor operating a vessel while intoxicated.

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Jeffrey faces a Sept. 16 substance abuse evaluation in New Baltimore District Court and Sept. 29 sentencing.

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Southfield Fire Chief Keith Rowley jumped July 31 from the 40-foot vessel into Lake St. Clair off Harrison Township to retrieve a hat. He wasn’t wearing a life jacket and his body was found a few days later.


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