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Joe Rickey Hundley, the Idaho man accused of slapping a toddler and using a racial slur on a Delta flight to Atlanta, has pleaded not guilty.
Last month, the 60-year-old slapped Jessica Bennett’s adopted 2-year-old son to try to get him to be quiet as the plane was about to land. He also used the n-word. The incident cost him his job.
Bennett told investigators that Hundley told her to “shut that (racial slur) baby up.”
According to WSBTV, he has been charged with assault and pleaded not guilty in court today. While Hundley didn’t speak, his attorney made a few statements to the press.
Marcia Shein, his attorney, explained that Hundley was going from Minneapolis to Atlanta to see his only son, who had overdosed on insulin. She said that Hundley had to “decide to take his only child and son off of life-support, he was under a great deal of stress, he was very grieved and had been up for the prior 24 hours. When this happened, my client said something inappropriate to Mrs. Bennett, something he shouldn't have said even in his darkest hour.”
Shein added that Hundley has asked for Bennett’s forgiveness. However, she did say that the case will go to trial. The Associated Press reports that he is due back in court on April 9.