ATLANTA – A former Hayden, Idaho, man pleaded guilty to a charge of simple assault Wednesday for slapping a crying toddler on an Atlanta-bound flight.
Joe Rickey Hundley entered the guilty plea before Magistrate Judge Alan Baverman after reaching a plea agreement with federal prosecutors. His trial had been set to start this morning.
Hundley used a racial slur to refer to the 19-month-old boy and then hit him under the right eye as the flight from Minneapolis began its descent to the Atlanta airport, authorities have said.
The misdemeanor simple assault charge carries a possible prison sentence of up to a year and a fine of up to $100,000. Prosecutors have recommended a sentence of six months in prison, but Hundley reserved his right to argue for a lower sentence.
The judge is not required to follow the recommendations in the plea agreement when he sentences Hundley at a hearing set for Jan. 6.
Hundley was president of Unitech Composites and Structures in Hayden but lost his job following enormous media coverage of the in-flight incident, his defense lawyers said in a court filing. Hundley has since moved to Leland, N.C., according to a court filing. He has only been able to find sporadic, part-time work since then, he told the judge.
Record rain recorded in Bonners Ferry
Bonners Ferry set a rainfall record in September, with 4.04 inches falling during the month, according to the National Weather Service.
The previous record for the month was 3.65 inches in 1962. Records have been kept there since 1907.
A rainfall record for September was also recorded at Boundary Dam north of Metaline Falls with 4.69 inches, 0.77 of an inch more than the previous 1997 record.
Also, several locations in the North Cascades posted records: Holden Village, Stehekin, Leavenworth and Mazama.
Man accused of stabbing estranged wife
SANDPOINT – A 60-year-old Post Falls man is charged with breaking into his estranged wife’s house north of Priest River and stabbing her several times.
The Bonner County Daily Bee reported James Leverne Carlton made an initial appearance in Bonner County Magistrate Court on Tuesday on charges of attempted first-degree murder with a weapons enhancement.
Magistrate Judge Lori Muelenberg set Carlton’s bail at $500,000. She ordered that neither Carlton nor any associates have any contact with the victim, who was stabbed several times Monday night.
Prosecutor Louis Marshall said the woman’s condition had stabilized.
Court records say Carlton was charged with felony domestic battery against the woman in August and later charged with violating a no-contact order in that case. Court records indicate the woman filed for divorce last month.