An Idaho man, accused of slapping a toddler and using a racial slur aboard a Feb. 8 Delta Air Lines plane, pleaded not guilty Wednesday in an Atlanta, Ga., courtroom.
The attorney for 60-year-old Joe Hundley of Hayden told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that her client was traveling to Atlanata in order to take his only child off of life support after his son had overdosed on insulin. She said that Hudley was distraught during the flight.
The child was sitting in the lap of his adopted mother, Jessica Bennett, when she told police Hundley told her to "shut that 'N-word' baby up."
Hundley's attorney, Marcia Shein, said Hundley made the derogatory statements because he was grieving.
"He said something inappropriate to Mrs. Bennett he shouldn't have said even in his darkest hour," said Shein. "We hope for Mrs. Bennett's sake and our client's sake that everyone will forgive him for what he said and to heal."
Bennett said she wanted Hudley to pay for what he allegedly said and did to her son.
"We hope he is punished as much as he possibly can be," said Bennett.
Hundley is is scheduled for another court appearance on Tuesday, April 9.