Joanne Snow, the veteran American Airlines flight attendant accused of attacking her co-workers and a U.S. air marshal last year during an overseas flight from Charlotte, goes on trial Friday in federal court.
Prosecutors on Tuesday reduced the charges against the 67-year-old Snow to simple assault. Her trial will take place before U.S. Magistrate Judge David Cayer.
Snow had faced two federal felonies stemming from a round-trip flight between Charlotte and Frankfurt, Germany, last November. Both legs of the trip were marred by what witnesses describe as Snow’s erratic and violent behavior. She had faced a maximum punishment of more than 25 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Charlotte Observer
A document filed this week by federal prosecutors that outlines the reduced charge says Snow “knowingly and intentionally” assaulted a federal officer on Flight 704 on Nov. 23. The document signifies that a plea agreement has been reached between prosecutors and Snow’s attorney, Peter Adolf of Charlotte.
An affidavit from a U.S. air marshal who was a passenger on the overseas flight said Snow struck her co-workers and marshals and then tried to flee passport control after the plane landed in Charlotte. A federal prosecutor said Snow tried to open the aircraft’s door while it taxied for takeoff in Germany.
After Snow’s arrest, she was involuntarily committed to a hospital, then jailed. Cayer freed her to the care of a son if she agreed to seek psychological treatment.
Adolf was not immediately available for comment Wednesday.
Researcher Maria David contributed.