JetBlue Pilot Osbon Found Competent To Stand Trial
By Cathy Martindale and Joel Rosenblatt - Jun 15, 2012 11:19 AM ET
Clayton Osbon, the JetBlue Airways Corp. (JBLU) pilot arrested in March after his erratic behavior led to the diversion of a flight, was found mentally fit to stand trial by mutual agreement of the prosecution and defense.
U.S. District Judge Mary Lou Robinson in Amarillo, Texas, made the ruling at a hearing today, after ordering Osbon in April to undergo a mental examination at a federal medical facility. Osbon’s lawyer told the court in April that he will mount an insanity defense to charges that his client interfered with the duties of a flight crew.
The hearing was to help determine whether Osbon is “suffering from a mental defect or deficiency rendering him mentally incompetent” to understand the legal proceedings “or assist properly in his own defense,” according to a court filing.
Osbon’s behavior while captaining a March 27 flight from New York to Las Vegas caused his co-pilot to bar him from the cockpit, according to a federal agent’s affidavit filed with a criminal complaint the next day. After Osbon began shouting and pounding on the flight deck door, he was restrained by some of the plane’s passengers.
The plane diverted to Amarillo, where Osbon was taken into custody. He was indicted on April 11.
The case is U.S. v. Osbon, 12-cr-00017, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas (Amarillo).
To contact the reporter on this story: Cathy Martindale in Amarillo, Texas; Joel Rosenblatt in San Francisco at firstname.lastname@example.org
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