HAMILTON COUNTY, TN. (Times Free Press) -- The father of a 37-year-old man who drowned last year says he's grateful authorities pursued the case for almost a year in order to file charges against a suspect.

"[The investigators] gave me more comfort than anybody did," said 80-year-old Billie Hess, father of Jimmy Hess, who died last year after falling out of a sailboat on Chickamauga Lake.

"I think about [him] regularly. Sometimes it's worse than others," Billie father said. "I just hope something comes of this. ... I don't think [his drowning] was accidental."

Last week, Shawn Jeremy Russell, 32, was charged by Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency with boating under the influence and failure to render aid. He was taken into custody by Hamilton County sheriff's deputies at his Chattanooga home, then later posted bond. TWRA does not investigate homicides, but does investigate boating accidents.

Read more on the story from our news partners at the Chattanooga Times Free Press.