(Photo: Kootenai County Sheriff Office)
A man who pleaded guilty to slapping a crying toddler on a U.S. flight has been sentenced to eight months in federal prison.
Joe Rickey Hundley was sentenced Monday. He pleaded guilty in October after reaching a plea agreement with prosecutors.
Prosecutors say Hundley used a racial slur to refer to the 19-month-old boy, who is black, and hit him under the eye as the flight descended to the Atlanta airport in February.
Prosecutors had recommended six months in prison. The judge said he imposed a higher sentence in part because of Hundley’s criminal history, which includes a prior assault.
Hundley’s lawyer objected to the deviation from the recommendation in the plea agreement and said after the hearing that she believes the sentence is disproportionate.