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JetBlue Pilot Competent To Stand Trial

Judge Rules That The Evaluation Of Clayton Osbon Be Sealed

A judge in Amarillo, TX, has ruled that Clayton Osbon, the pilot of a JetBlue flight who became disoriented during a flight from New York to Las Vegas March 27th, is mentally competent to stand trial. U.S. District Judge Mary Lou Robinson later ruled that the psychiatric evaluation of Osbon should be sealed.

The Associated Press reports that Osbon's ability to assist in his own defense, and his mental condition at the time of the incident were evaluated by a court-appointed psychiatrist.

He is charged with one count of interfering with a flight crew, which is defined as assaulting or intimidating the crew, interfering with its duties, or diminishing its ability to operate the aircraft.

During the flight, Osbon was locked out of the cockpit by his co-pilot after he began to say "things just don't matter," while acting as pilot in command of the A320. According to FBI documents, he told the co-pilot "We're not going to Vegas." He became disruptive, running up and down the aisle of the airplane and banging on the lavatory door, then tried to force his way back into the cockpit, He eventually had to be restrained by several passengers, and the plane made an emergency landing in Amarillo, TX, where he was arrested. While being restrained, he reportedly yelled "pray now for Jesus Christ" and "guys, push it to full throttle" along with references to terrorist, Iraq, and Iran.

Osbon could serve as many as 20 years in prison if convicted of the charge.

FMI: www.txnd.uscourts.gov/jury/amarillo.html

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