Fri, Jul 06, 2012
Amarillo, TX Judge Delivers Ruling For Clayton Osbon
A judge in Amarillo, TX, ruled in a bench trial Tuesday that Jet Blue pilot Clayton F. Osbon - who left the cockpit and frightened passengers by screaming about religion and terrorism – is not guilty by reason of insanity. U.S. District Judge Mary Lou Robinson ruled that Osbon, be sent to a federal mental health facility until another hearing on or before August 6 at which time she will decide whether he can be released or committed to a mental facility.
Osbon was indicted on a single charge of interfering with a flight crew after the March 27th incident onboard a flight from Las Vegas to New York that he was piloting. A psychiatric examination had found him competent to stand trial.
Osbon’s attorney had no comment on the verdict. Jet Blue would say only that they continue to support the Osbon family and that he is still employed on an inactive status, according to a report in the Long Island, NY, newspaper Newsday.
Anthony Antolino, a passenger aboard the flight, declined comment on the verdict Tuesday but told the Associated Press He has flown JetBlue and other airlines since the incident and has felt no reservations about air travel. "I think things like this are few and far between," he said. "However, I think the FAA ought to use this as an example in determining how to screen pilots and those who control airplanes. There was no tragedy here, thankfully, but the FAA shouldn't have to wait for a tragedy."
At least 10 passengers sued JetBlue after the incident, claiming they feared for their lives and that the airline was "grossly negligent" in allowing Osbon to fly.
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