- Police Photo: Kootenai County Sheriff
Marcia Shein, the lawyer responsible for representing the man deemed the "toddler slapper" has stated that her client, despite accusations and hate mail, is not racist.
The Georgia based lawyer for Joe Rickey Hundley has stated that she is receiving hate mail after publicly announcing that her client plans to plea "not guilty." Hundley stands accused of slapping a 19-month-old child while on a Delta flight on February 8th.
"It's a process you have to go through but when you tell the public that, they just think you're nuts," Shein told Reuters of Hudley's "not guilty" plea. "I'm getting hate mail."
Shein defends that her client, who allegedly called the 19-month old that "N-word baby," is not racist, as the public has perceived.
"He is not a racist," she said. "I'm going to make that real clear because that's what people are suggesting. Instead, she suggests that people are missing crucial information that is relevant to the case."
"There's background information people don't know about, and in time it will come out," Shein stated.
Hundley, an executive for AGC Aerospace & Defense, was fired from his position on Sunday. His company, responsible for supplies technology and other services to the military and businesses, said in a Sunday statement that Hundley is no longer an employee of the company following what began as a suspension.
"Reports of the recent behavior of one of our business unit executives while on personal travel are offensive and disturbing," said a statement from AGC Aerospace & Defense. "We have taken this matter very seriously and worked diligently to examine it since learning of the matter on Friday afternoon."
"As of Sunday, the executive is no longer employed with the company," the company added.
The mother of the 19-month-old baby, Jessica Bennett, 33, said Hundley was irritable with her adopted son for most of the flight, causing her to stand near the back of the plane. The incident occurred after Bennett was required to return to her seat for landing.
"I was having trouble comforting him," Bennett told CNN, due to the changing altitudes, "when he made that comment."
The complaint filed in court documents states that Hundley told Bennett to "shut that 'n-word' baby up."
"I could not believe that he would say something like that to a baby, or about a baby," Bennett told the news station.
After making the comment, Hundley then allegedly slapped baby Jonah, hitting him in the eye. The family has hired an attorney, although they are unsure of whether or not they will be suing.