JetBlue pilot Clayton Osbon was found “not guilty” by reason of insanity on Tuesday after being charged with interference of a flight crew. If convicted Osbon could have faced up to 20 years in prison.
Clayton was piloting a JetBlue flight from New York to Las Vegas when he exited the cockpit and began running up and down the aisle’s screaming nonsense about the Middle East and terrorist organizations.
In court documents it was revealed that U.S. District Judge Mary Lou Robinson in Amarillo, Texas had received a psychological examination that concluded, “at the time of the commission of the offense, 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.”
After receiving the final psychological report all parties appeared to agree with its findings as prosecutors agreed with the psychological analysis for Mr. Osbon.
In June Judge Robinson allowed Osbon’s case to proceed, noting that Clayton Osbon was no longer suffering from a mental disease or defect.
During the original incident witnesses say Osbon ran up and down the planes aisles screaming “Things don’t matter” while talking about al-Qaeda, Afghanistan and Iraq.
Passengers eventually help subdue Osbon who was locked out of the flight deck by the first officer after he tried to interfere with flight controls while proclaiming “We’re not going to Vegas” and “We’re going to have to take a leap of faith.”
Clayton Osbon will be taken to a prison in Forth Worth, Texas where he will undergo a mental examination before returning to court on August 6 at which time his fate will be left up to the judge.
Federal law allowed people found not guilty by reason of insanity to be held indefinitely until they can establish their right to be released through psychological testing.
Several JetBlue passengers have filed lawsuits against the airline, claiming it should have known the pilot was unfit for duty.