Criminal Justice

Slapping crying toddler on plane nets jail time for former executive

A former aerospace executive from Idaho has been sentenced to eight months in prison for slapping a crying toddler on a plane.

Joe Rickey Hundley admitted he used a racial slur to refer to the child during the Feb. 8 flight, report Reuters, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Associated Press. According to the mother, Hundley told her to “shut that [n—–] baby up” before striking the 19-month-old boy on a flight from Minneapolis to Atlanta. He was fired from AGC Aerospace & Defense after the incident, Reuters says.

Prosecutors had sought a six-month sentence as part of a plea agreement. U.S. Magistrate Alan Baverman increased the sentence because Hundley was on probation for drunken driving and had been convicted of assault in Virginia, according to the Journal-Constitution.

Hundley’s lawyer has said he was on his way to Atlanta to take his son off life support after an insulin overdose left him brain dead, according to the AP account. “I made the most terrible day in my life much worse for me and for others,” Hundley told the judge.

Hundley’s lawyer said her client’s alcoholism also contributed to his behavior. He has been attending Alcoholics Anonymous since March.

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