WAUSAU (WAOW) – A Stratford man was sentenced to three years in prison Friday for driving drunk when his vehicle broke through some ice two years ago and his fishing partner drowned.
William Bowden, 32, was convicted of fourth-offense operating while intoxicated in an incident that killed 34-year-old Timothy Spindler. Prosecutors dismissed a felony charge of homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle in a plea bargain.
Bowden told the judge Friday that he was sorry and felt bad for what happened.
Five members of Spindler's family told a judge that Bowden deserved to be sent to prison.
Bowden and Spindler were ice fishing Jan. 7, 2012, on the Big Eau Pleine Reservoir when the vehicle Bowden was driving broke through the ice. Bowden escaped but Spindler drowned.
A judge placed Bowden on three years of extended supervision after he is released from prison and ordered him to install a breath-ignition system on his vehicle to make sure he doesn't drink and drive again.