Leland Man in toddler slapping case to be sentenced - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Leland Man in toddler slapping case to be sentenced

Posted: Updated:
Joe Rickey Hundley is due in Federal Court Monday. Joe Rickey Hundley is due in Federal Court Monday.

ATLANTA (AP) - A man who pleaded guilty to slapping a crying toddler on a flight is due in federal court this morning for sentencing.

Joe Rickey Hundley pleaded guilty in October after reaching a plea agreement with federal prosecutors.

Prosecutors say Hundley used a racial slur to refer to the 19-month-old black boy and then hit him under the right eye as the flight from Minneapolis began its descent to the Atlanta airport last February.

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 six months in prison, but Hundley reserved his right to argue for a lower sentence.

Hundley was president of an aerospace company in Hayden, Idaho, 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 been able to find only sporadic, part-time work since then, he told the judge.

The judge isn't required to follow the recommendations in the plea agreement.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Powered by WorldNow