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Crime & Courts

Man who pleaded guilty to slapping toddler aboard Atlanta-bound flight to be sentenced

A man who pleaded guilty to slapping a crying toddler on a flight is due in federal court for sentencing.

Joe Rickey Hundley pleaded guilty in October after reaching a plea agreement with federal prosecutors. His sentencing is set for Monday morning.

Prosecutors say Hundley used a racial slur to refer to the 19-month-old boy and then hit him under the right eye as the flight from Minneapolis began its descent to the Atlanta airport last February.

The misdemeanor simple assault charge carries a possible prison sentence of up to a year and a fine of up to $100,000. Prosecutors have recommended six months in prison, but Hundley reserved his right to argue for a lower sentence.

The judge isn't required to follow the recommendations in the plea agreement.

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