MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The captain of a boat which capsized off the coast of Miami is facing involuntary manslaughter charges after four women died due to the incident.
Naaman Davis, 53, is in custody at the federal detention center Saturday evening. He is just one of five people implicated in the disastrous voyage.
“Four people drowned,” said Davis’ attorney,attorney David Tucker.
The federal government said Davis captained the vessel that capsized just off Miami’s coast earlier this month.
The boat was overcrowded carrying Haitian migrants fleeing their native country.
Davis is also charged with smuggling people into the U.S. and causing their deaths, among other charges.
If convicted he could spend life in prison or even get the death penalty.
“These are very serious charges,” said Tucker. “We take these charges very seriously. We will be pleading not guilty and we will be aggressively defending this case.”
Earlier this week Miami-based families of those on the boat urged the federal government to release the survivors.
Haitian rights activist Marleine Bastien also pointed out life is tough enough in Haiti that changes must be made so people won’t risk their lives on, what she called rickety boats.
“We are also calling on families who have people thinking about taking a boat because we’re also gravely concerned about that,” said Bastien.” They also have a responsibility to understand that, these trips are dangerous! This 750 mile voyage is a very difficult and dangerous voyage and that needs to stop.”
Tucker said his client has “no clue” that he is blamed for four people dying at sea.