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Man pleads not guilty to slapping toddler on airplane

A man accused of slapping a toddler on an Atlanta-bound flight and using a racial slur has pleaded not guilty to assault in federal court.

Joe Rickey Hundley, of Hayden, Idaho, appeared in court Wednesday after authorities say he used racial slur when telling a fellow passenger to quiet her baby and slapped the child. The incident unfolded aboard a Delta Air Lines flight from Minneapolis Feb. 8.

Hundley's attorney, Marcia Shein, says the 60-year-old man has admitted to using the racial slur. She told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Hundley was traveling to Atlanta to take his only child off of life support after he overdosed on insulin and was distraught during the flight.

Hundley is scheduled to appear again in court April 9.

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