In February, Joe Hundley was aboard a flight from Minneapolis to Atlanta to pay a final visit to his brain-dead son in the hospital and take him off of life support. He had not slept the previous night and was consuming alcohol as a method of coping with the pain and stress of the situation.
He was seated next to Jessica Bennett, who was holding her 19-month old son on her lap. When the flight made its final descent to Atlanta, Bennett’s son began crying. Hundley became agitated and allegedly leaned over to Bennett and told her to “shut that (N-word) baby up.” He repeated the phrase to Bennett before reportedly slapping the child on the face, leaving a scratch below his right eye.
Hundley was charged with simple assault, a misdemeanor. In October, Hundley reached a plea agreement with federal prosecutors in which he would plead guilty to the crime in exchange for a lesser sentence. Prosecutors have recommended a sentence of six months in prison. He is also required to attend anger management classes and enter a drug or alcohol treatment program, of which he has been attending since March.
His alleged compulsion to slap a child and utter a racial slur will have long-lasting consequences on Mr. Hundley’s life. Besides being convicted of a misdemeanor crime, the media attention this case has brought has caused him to lose his job as president of an aerospace corporation in his home state of Idaho. He has since moved to North Carolina and has only been able to find occasional, part-time work there. The conviction will likely result in his inability to find gainful employment for years to come.
If you or a loved one are charged with assault, call Irvine Criminal Lawyer Staycie R. Sena immediately for a free consultation at (949) 477-8088