Crime & Courts

Airline attendant found not guilty by reason of insanity

A federal judge Friday found former American Airlines flight attendant not guilty by reason of insanity in a trial stemming from her violent behavior on an overseas flight from Charlotte last November
A federal judge Friday found former American Airlines flight attendant not guilty by reason of insanity in a trial stemming from her violent behavior on an overseas flight from Charlotte last November Mecklenburg jail

Joanne Snow, an American Airlines flight attendant whose erratic and violent behavior disrupted both legs of an overseas flight from Charlotte last year, was found not guilty by reason of insanity by a federal judge on Friday.

Snow had faced two federal felonies stemming from a round-trip flight between Charlotte and Frankfurt, Germany, after she attacked co-workers and a U.S. air marshal, and tried to open the jet’s door as it taxied for takeoff. She had faced a maximum punishment of more than 25 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.

This week, federal prosecutors reduced the charges to simple assault. In the Friday trial before U.S. Magistrate Judge David Cayer, both sides stipulated that Snow, 67, had reacted badly to some prescription drugs taken before the flight, had been treated by a psychiatrist and was no longer a threat to the public.

Cayer agreed, and accepted the not guilty plea recommended by attorneys.

Michael Gordon: 704-358-5095, @MikeGordonOBS

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