Man who slapped baby on plane gets 8 months

4:33 PM, Jan 6, 2014   |    comments
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ATLANTA -- A man who pleaded guilty to slapping a crying toddler on a flight has been sentenced to eight months in federal prison.

Joe Rickey Hundley pleaded guilty in October after reaching a plea agreement with federal prosecutors. He was sentenced Monday.

Prosecutors say Hundley used a racial slur to refer to the 19-month-old boy, who's black, and then hit him under the right eye as the flight from Minneapolis began its descent to the Atlanta airport last February.

RELATED | Mom speaks about passenger charged with slapping son

In addition, Hundley's sentence will include a year of supervised release, a $2,500 fine, $105 restitution, a special assessment of $25 and 120 hours of community service.

The misdemeanor simple assault charge carried a possible prison sentence of up to a year and a fine of up to $100,000. Prosecutors had recommended six months in prison. The judge said he imposed a higher sentence in part because of Hundley's criminal history, which includes a prior assault.

Hundley's lawyer objected to the deviation from the recommendation in the plea agreement and said after the hearing that she believes the sentence is disproportionate.

RELATED | Hundley asks for forgiveness

(Associated Press)

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