Idaho man sentenced for slapping toddler

The Idaho man who made national news by slapping a toddler while on a flight to Minneapolis to Atlanta has been sentenced to eight months in federal prison by U.S. Magistrate Judge Alan Baverman.

Joe Rickey Hundley pled guilty to committing an act of simple assault against a 19-month-old child who was crying as the airplane was descending to the Atlanta airport. Hundley hit the child under the eye as well as made a racial slur toward the boy, who is black.

Judge Baverman claims that he imposed a higher sentence on Hundley than the six months that the prosecuting attorney had suggested because of his prior record of assault. Hundley’s attorney, Marcia Shein, objected to the deviation from the recommendations of the plea agreement that the opposing sides had agreed on.

Before sentencing, Hundley stated in the courtroom that he was taking full responsibility for his actions. He also offered a personal apology to the boy’s mother, Jessica Bennett, who was seated in the courtroom.

Hundley has recently claimed that he is working hard to get his alcohol addiction under control. Judge Baverman also sentenced him to perform community service, receive anger management counseling, and to undergo alcohol abuse treatment.

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