Accused plane baby slapper pleads not guilty - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Accused plane baby slapper pleads not guilty

Posted: Updated:

(ABC News) -- A former Idaho executive accused of smacking a crying toddler on a flight pleaded not guilty to the charges today in federal court.

Joe Hundley, 60, faces simple assault charges after he allegedly slapped 19-month-old Jonah Bennett on a flight from Minneapolis to Atlanta on Feb. 8. If convicted, he could face up to one year in jail.

Marcia Shein, Hundley's attorney, told the Atlanta Journal Constitution her client had been on the way to Atlanta to take his son off life support when the alleged incident occurred.

"He was grieving and very upset," she said. "That's why we're going to trial."

The toddler's mother, Jessica Bennett, told ABC News last month she was sitting with her son and Hundley, who was a stranger to her, in Row 28 of a Delta Airlines flight.

"Jonah starts crying because he's feeling the pressure in his ears," Bennett said.

At that point, Hundley, according to court documents, told Bennett to "Shut that n-word baby up."

"I said, 'What did you just say?'" Bennett said. "And he was so drunk that he fell onto my face, and his mouth moved over to my ear and he said it, just directly into my ear."

Hundley then allegedly smacked Jonah, according to Bennett.

"When I had looked at Jonah's face, he had, his eye was swollen…and it was bleeding," Bennett said. "I was just scared to death."

Following the alleged incident, Hundley, who was employed as an executive at AGC Aerospace and Defense, Composites Group, was let go from his position , his employer told ABC News.

AGC's President and CEO Al Hasse called the allegations "embarrassing" and said they did "not in any way reflect the patriotic character of the men and women of diverse backgrounds who work tirelessly in our business."

  • Top StoriesMore>>

  • Sleeping man injured when car crashes into bedroom

    Sleeping man injured when car crashes into bedroom

    Saturday, April 19 2014 9:12 PM EDT2014-04-20 01:12:40 GMT
    A man was injured by a car inside his own bedroom on Saturday afternoon. He was sleeping in the bedroom of his apartment on Brownstone around 5:30 p.m. when a Buick crashed through the wall.
    A man was injured by a car inside his own bedroom on Saturday afternoon. He was sleeping in the bedroom of his apartment on Brownstone around 5:30 p.m. when a Buick crashed through the wall.
  • 419 Day celebrated on social media

    419 Day celebrated on social media

    Saturday, April 19 2014 7:14 PM EDT2014-04-19 23:14:37 GMT
    Saturday was April 19 or 4-19 and locals thought this was the perfect day to celebrate businesses in the 419 area code in person and on social media.
    Saturday was April 19 or 4-19 and locals thought this was the perfect day to celebrate businesses in the 419 area code in person and on social media.
  • Vengeful note left in 2 boys' murder

    Vengeful note left in 2 boys' murder

    Saturday, April 19 2014 10:20 PM EDT2014-04-20 02:20:03 GMT
    A woman who shot and killed her two young grandsons before committing suicide last year left a note to the boys' parents saying they did not deserve to have the children, according to a police report.
    A woman who shot and killed her two young grandsons before committing suicide last year left a note to the boys' parents saying they did not deserve to have the children, according to a police report.

Area Events Calendar

See It, Shoot It, Send It!