NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The JetBlue pilot accused in a mid-air meltdown has been found not guilty by reason of insanity.
A Texas judge said Clayton Osbon suffered a “severe mental disease or defect” that impaired his ability during the March 27 incident on JetBlue Flight 191.
The decision came one month after Osbon was ruled mentally competent to stand trial.
The 49-year-old had faced up to 20 years in prison if he convicted on the charge of interference with a flight crew.
Osbon had an outburst on a flight from John F. Kennedy Airport to Las Vegas before passengers tackled him. The crew then made an emergency landing in Amarillo.
Passengers said they had to wrestle him to the floor when he ran through the cabin mid-flight, yelling about Jesus and Al-Qaeda. At one point he allegedly told passengers “We’re not going to Vegas.”
Following the incident, Osbon’s wife released a statement saying she and her family believed “That while he was clearly distressed, he was not intentionally violent towards anyone.”
Osbon will undergo more evaluations at a federal mental health facility before a scheduled court hearing in August. At that time, a judge will decide whether the former pilot will be released or head to a mental facility.
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