Toddler slapping suspect faces Idaho judge

Toddler slapping suspect faces Idaho judge

Toddler slapping suspect faces Idaho judge

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by KING 5 News and Associated Press

KING5.com

Posted on February 19, 2013 at 5:11 PM

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - An Idaho man charged with slapping a toddler on a Minneapolis-to-Atlanta flight has made an initial appearance in federal court.

Joe Rickey Hundley surrendered to federal agents Tuesday morning and then stood before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mikel H. Williams via video at the federal courthouse in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.

Hundley, of Hayden, Idaho, was released by the magistrate on $10,000 bond.

As conditions of his release, the 60-year-old cannot drink alcohol or possess firearms and must surrender his passport. He cannot travel outside of Idaho, Eastern Washington, or the northern district of Georgia, where the case will be tried.

Hundley is accused of slapping the 19-month-old boy during a Feb. 8 flight.

The boy's mother, Jessica Bennett, 33, told the FBI their flight was on final descent into Atlanta when her 19-month-old son started to cry due to the altitude change. Hundley "told her to shut that (N-word) baby up," FBI special agent Daron Cheney said in a sworn statement.

She said Hundley then slapped him in the face, scratching the boy below his right eye and causing him to scream even louder.

Hundley has been charged in Atlanta with simple assault. His attorney, Marcia Shein, of Decatur, Ga., said Saturday that Hundley will plead not guilty. The charge carries a maximum penalty of a year in jail.

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