Dad Who Threw Son Off Boat Found Guilty

Sloane Steven Briles changes plea, accepts deal

The Irvine father who threw his 7-year-old son overboard during a sightseeing trip in Newport Beach Harbor has accepted a plea deal.

Sloane Steven Briles, 35, pleaded guilty Monday to one felony count of child abuse and endangerment and one misdemeanor count of resisting an officer, according to the Orange County District Attorney's office.

Briles, 35, was sentenced to three years of formal probation, one year of a child abusers treatment program and 180 days in an alcohol treatment program.

Briles, who saw combat in the military in Bosnia, will do his alcohol treatment program through the Veterans Administration, Deputy District Attorney Cyril Yu said.

The prosecutor said the "sentence overall is fair ... but I think it would be appropriate if he did jail time, as well," while adding that he had not specified how much time behind bars Briles deserved.

Orange County Superior Court Judge Robert Fitzgerald made it clear to Briles that he faces time behind bars in prison if he fails to complete the alcohol treatment program, according to Yu. Briles could face up to six years in prison on the felony counts and a maximum year in jail on the misdemeanor, the prosecutor said.

The judge could also opt to sentence Briles to 180 days in jail if he fails the alcohol treatment program, Yu said.

Monday's ruling stems from an Aug. 28 incident on the "Queen" sightseeing boat.

"The defendant was under the influence of alcohol and poked his 7-year-old son in the chest. He repeatedly slapped his son in the face, making the child cry and ask the defendant to stop because the defendant was hurting him," according to the DA's office.

That's when Briles threw the boy overboard, according to prosecutors.

"Briles then jumped into the water to avoid the angry passengers on the Queen who began to yell at him. He made no attempt to swim to his son's aid," according to the DA's office.

Briles also resisted arrest once sheriff's deputies arrived, prosecutors said.

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