Joe Rickey Hundley, the man who rose to infamy after being accused of striking a 19-month-old crying baby boy on a Delta Air Lines flight back in February, will be back in court beginning Oct. 3 when his trial over the baby slapping case gets underway in Atlanta.
Although there are several witnesses to the incident, Hundley has denied striking the baby, and also denied using derogatory language directed at the toddler.
The baby’s mom, Jessica Bennett, 33, of Minneapolis, was sitting next to Hundley during the slapping incident which also included Hundley calling the baby a racial slur. The slapping resulted in a scratch and some bleeding beneath the baby’s eye.
Ms. Bennett also said that her baby’s eye swelled after the slapping.
In an affidavit filed by the FBI, CBS News shared:
Hundley “told her to shut that (‘N word’) baby up,”
“Ms. Bennett received assistance from several people on the plane, including male passenger Todd Wooten.”
Mr. Wooten came to the aid of the assaulted baby and his mother after he heard the language being used by Hundley. Wooten also said that the infant started crying even louder after he was slapped.
Immediately after news of the incident came to light, Hundley was suspended from his position as president of Unitech Composites and Structures in Idaho, and was later fired for what his employers described as “disturbing allegations.”
The baby’s mom said at the time that Hundley was intoxicated and wreaked of alcohol; although Hundley only admitted to having one cocktail.
According to Hundley’s legal team, Hundley was flying to Atlanta in February because his son was hospitalized and in a coma after overdosing on insulin. The lawyers said that Hundley needed to decide whether to remove his son from life support.
Hundley’s son died the day following the slapping incident.
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