Man gets eight months in jail for slapping crying baby

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

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

Hundley’s attorney, Marcia Shein, said Hundley will report to a yet-to-be determined facility 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, Minnesota, 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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  • Debby Tangblade

    Hitting a child in the face like that? If his son was dying then he should have been more loving to this poor, crying baby. He’s an Arse. 8 months maybe fine but he should also be required to take courses in anger management, volunteer at domestic violent facilities and live with some black people for a time. (Well he’ll do that in jail) But prison will make him angrier and no education for this less than intelligent man won’t solve his problem.

  • Mary Jane’s spelled Minnesota web staff. Do they not proof read anything anymore? This guy’s name has been moved right on up the bad karma list. What a jerk!

  • fast45

    Cops routinely beat up innocent citizens, falsify reports, commit perjury, and shoot family pets without recourse. So this dirtbag deserved what he got … but … I hope others are wondering why the Gang-in-Blue gets away with being dirtbags without any accountability.

  • Not_Now

    So……a white man slaps a non-white baby on a plane, people cry, “Racist,” and he gets 8 months in jail. A white teen drives drunk, KILLS 4 and severely injures 2 (ALL WHITE) and he gets probation. And all you people call the man “an Arse, jerk, dirtbag, less than intelligent? At least that family still HAS their baby!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Debby Tangblade

      Well I didn’t say the racist part, but imo any grown man that would slap a baby in the face is all of those other things. Invalid argument, if the other case is right or wrong, doesn’t have a bearing on whether this case is right or wrong. He is actually lucky he is still alive and should think about those actions. Slapping some people’s babies could have justifiably got HIM killed. Then the parents would have to spend money for their legal defense to get out of it. He harmed a baby, That definately makes him an arse. Maybe that arse will have 8 months to figure out what he did wrong. Doesn’t sound to me like he has figured that out yet as he is trying to justify and give excuse his action.

  • Not_Now

    Oh, I get it now. HARMING a baby is MUCH WORSE in the eyes of the court system than KILLING 4 PEOPLE. Hate to tell you, but I really doubt there are many people that have been stuck on a plane near some bratty kid or crying baby that at least didn’t think about doing this. He just did! I wonder, would this have been as much of a media “blow up” if: 1. Mom hadn’t gotten her 15 minutes of fame. 2. The kid had been white. 3. The man had been anything BUT white.

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