Posted Sep 08, 2010 02:01 pm CDT
The JetBlue flight attendant who became fed up with a passenger and jumped down an emergency chute will undergo a mental health evaluation that could help him avoid jail time.
Steven Slater is accused of criminal mischief, reckless endangerment and trespassing in the Aug. 9 incident. He will be evaluated and may qualify for an alternative sentencing program that offers community service and counseling rather than jail, the Associated Press reports. The same sentencing program has been used for war vets with mental health or substance abuse issues, according to the New York Daily News and the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.).
Slater appeared for a hearing in a Queens courtroom on Tuesday, dressed in “a snazzy blue suit,” according to the story by the New York Daily News. His lawyer, Daniel Horwitz, said Slater was HIV positive, his mother was terminally ill, and his father had recently died—troubles that created intense pressures.