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10.26.2009

man convicted of manslaughter for drowning death

Remember Du Doan? He's the 62-year-old Vietnamese who was shoved into Lake Michigan and drowned to death in Chicago two years ago. Last week, a Cook County jury convicted 33-year-old John Haley of involuntary manslaughter for Doan's death: Manslaugter conviction for pushing fisherman into lake.

That's it? Manslaughter? During closing arguments, prosecutors implored jurors to convict Haley of murder, saying they shouldn't buy his excuse that when he pushed Doan into the water, he did it for a joke and didn't know the man could not swim.

The jury late Friday came back with a guilty verdict for involuntary manslaughter.

I certainly don't buy Haley's defense it was just a careless, drunken night of messing around. For a moment, back in September 2007, police were looking into whether or not the drowning could be a possible hate crime, but for some reason, later backed off that idea.

This was a violent crime that took a life. But to the jury, that's still just involuntary manslaughter. Haley faces a sentence of 2 to 5 years in prison, though the range could be extended to up to 10 years because he has a previous drug conviction. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for November 19.