JetBlue Pilot Held in Jail Following First Court Appearance
(AMARILLO, Texas) — JetBlue Capt. Clayton Osbon is being held in a Texas jail without bond following his first court appearance Monday, where he smiled at his wife in the courtroom but spoke very little.
Osbon, 49, only answered “yes” or “no” to questions from Magistrate Judge Clinton E. Averitte regarding Osbon’s understanding of the charges against him and his right to an attorney.
“He was advised of his rights and the government filed a motion for pre-trial detention,” courtroom deputy Beverley Bratcher told ABC News. “It was a quick initial appearance.”
The hearing was Osbon’s first public appearance since an apparent breakdown last week on a flight from New York to Las Vegas, during which he screamed about September 11 and religion, was locked out of the cockpit, and had to be restrained by passengers until the plane could make an emergency landing in Texas.
JetBlue Flight 191 was carrying 135 passengers and six crew members. A flight attendant suffered from some bruising to the ribs during the scuffle, but no one was seriously injured.
Osbon has been federally charged with interfering with flight crew instructions. According to the Department of Justice, the charge could be punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
He was not asked to enter a guilty or not-guilty plea Monday.
Osbon appeared in an Amarillo, Texas, federal court for a seven-minute hearing where federal prosecutors asked that he be held without bond until a detention hearing on Thursday. The judge agreed and Osbon is being held in the Randall County Jail in Amarillo without bond.
Osbon’s attorney, E. Dean Roper, did not respond to requests for comment from ABC News.
According to an FBI affidavit, “Osbon began talking about religion, but his statements were not coherent. The [first officer] became concerned when Osbon said ‘things just don’t matter.'”
“Osbon also yelled jumbled comments about Jesus, Sept. 11, Iraq, Iran, and terrorists,” according to the criminal complaint filed against him. “He also yelled, ‘Guys, push it to full throttle.'”
Osbon was subdued by at least five passengers after his co-pilot reportedly locked him out of the cockpit when he displayed potentially dangerous behavior. The flight from Kennedy Airport in New York was diverted to Amarillo, Texas.
On the ground, Osbon was taken off the plane in handcuffs and a wheelchair by Amarillo police.
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