(NEW YORK) — The suspended JetBlue pilot who “went berserk” mid-air earlier this year has now suffered a psychotic episode in a mental hospital, prompting a federal judge in Texas to order that he remain under observation for an additional 30 days before his case is concluded.
Capt. Clayton Osbon, 49, was found not guilty by reason of insanity last month on charges of interfering with a flight crew after he went on an in-flight rampage in March. A psychologist testified the meltdown was a brief psychotic episode triggered by sleep deprivation.
U.S. District Court Judge Mary Lou Robinson ordered Osbon to undergo an evaluation at a mental health facility, which was scheduled to be completed this week.
Federal examiners were ordered to create a report on whether the release of Osbon would create “substantial risk of bodily injury to another person or serious damage to the property of another.”
But a forensic psychologist notified the court via email of Osbon’s recent psychotic episode Aug. 3, according to court documents. Three days later, the court received a letter from the warden of the Federal Medical Center requesting that Osbon’s evaluation be extended.
The nature of Osbon’s psychotic episode and what prompted it were not revealed.
Attorneys for both sides in the case agreed to the extension, which lasts until Oct. 15, court documents stated.
The veteran pilot could have faced 20 years in prison for interfering with the instructions of a flight crew, but was found not guilty by Robinson.
“The defendant appeared to suffer from a severe mental disease or defect that impaired his ability to appreciate the nature, quality or wrongfulness of his behavior,” she said in her ruling.
Witnesses told ABC News that Osbon’s behavior on the flight, which was headed to Las Vegas, was nothing short of bizarre.
“The captain of the plane just went berserk,” passenger Wayne Holmes told ABC News in March. “He came out of the other end of the plane — came running back to the cockpit and he was shouting out these numbers — 500 something. He started banging on the cockpit door.”
A passenger subdued Osbon and the flight was diverted safely to Amarillo, Texas, where he was taken into custody.
Osbon will be evaluated until Oct. 15. Federal examiners will then have a two-week time frame to provide the court with a report on Osbon’s progress.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Tara Bench, KSL.com
Jethro Mullen, CNN
Eric Bradner, CNN
Jennifer Graham, Deseret News