A man seen drinking beer and cleaning a marijuana pipe at an Eau Claire park while his young daughters nearly drowned faces a nine-month jail term.
Thirty-eight-year-old Randall Brion also received four years of probation when sentenced this week. He had pleaded guilty to second-degree reckless endangerment and misdemeanor child neglect.
He told the court he made a big mistake and put himself ahead of his children. He says he feels lucky to still have his little girls after the incident in the Chippewa River last July.
The criminal complaint says he drank six cans of beer at Riverview Park with his daughters, ages three and five ... and the girls were swimming while he was drinking and preoccupied with the marijuana pipe.
He rescued one daughter when she screamed, but others saved the second girl from the river while he stood on shore holding a beer.
Defense lawyer Robert Thorson says Brion is spending more time with his children and attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings ... and he realizes he came close to a complete tragedy