Baby slapper on airliner gets 8 months in prison

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(CNN) — The Idaho man who slapped a crying 19-month-old boy on a Delta flight in February was sentenced Monday to eight months in prison, the man’s lawyer said.

Joe Rickey Hundley pleaded guilty to assault in federal court in October.


Joe Rickey Hundley (Photo: Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office)

Hundley’s attorney, Marcia Shein, said Hundley will report to a yet-to-be determined prison but didn’t say what the date would be.

She said she respects the judge’s ruling but called the sentence “disproportionate” to the crime and added that it was two months longer than what prosecutors had recommended.

In February, Hundley was seated next to Jessica Bennett and her 19-month-old son in row 28 when Delta flight 721 from Minneapolis began its descent into Atlanta.

When the baby began to cry, Hundley allegedly told Bennett to “shut that (N-word) baby up,” according to an FBI affidavit.

“(He) then turned around and slapped (the child) in the face with an open hand, which caused (him) to scream even louder,” the affidavit continued. The boy suffered a scratch below his right eye.

Shein said in a February statement that her client was in distress and grieving during the flight after learning the day before that his son was in a coma after overdosing on insulin.

Hundley was headed to Atlanta to decide whether or not to take his son — who died the day after the flight — off life support.

Shein said Hundley “had paid a terrible price for his hurtful words but asks only that people understand that he was not doing well that night and spoke hurtful words he would have not otherwise have said.”


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  • Momoflittleones

    Assault is assault and you do your time for your crime. If he had hit one of my babies, they would have been carrying his body off the plane in a body bag. You can’t assault others no matter what personal issues you are going through and to assault a baby on top of that is just down right cruel.

  • The World is Ending

    I have been on flights where I have wanted to tell people th sclince their brat. You may enjoy listing to your kid scream, but most ov the rest of us do not, if you have a kid that screams for the entire duration of a flight go see your doctor, because they make good drugs that will alow the rest of us to have a pleasant flight…. But it is not just small children that scream, I was on a flight where we hit some mild turbulence ant some teen age girls would scream at the top of their lungs over every bump, I wanted to go tell them that if we are going to crash and die, we are going to crash and die screaming about it won't help so shut up!

  • be real

    when you're in the world outside your house guess what? You have to deal with people!!! If you don't like screaming babies invest in a pair of earplugs or headphones that take it all away! No matter what personal issues you're going through there is never a reason for violence especially a baby that cant express himself any other way. he also could have asked to be moved.

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