April 18, 2012 at 2:30 PM ET
Clayton F. Osbon, the JetBlue captain who had a midair breakdown last month and was subdued by passengers, will rely on an insanity defense, according to the Amarillo Globe-News.
Osbon's attorneys filed a court motion Wednesday notifying federal prosecutors that Osbon will argue that he was insane when the incident occurred, the paper reported.
The captain, since suspended by JetBlue, was indicted last week on one count of interfering with a flight crew. It is the same charge he's been held on since shortly after the March 27 incident.
Osbon is undergoing a court-ordered psychiatric exam to determine his mental competency and whether or not he is fit to stand trial.
A federal criminal complaint against Obson filed March 28 states that he mentioned “being evaluated by someone” to the first officer, talked about his church and needing to “focus.” He asked the first officer to take the controls as he made incoherent comments about religion and then said, “things just don’t matter.”
During the March 27 flight from New York to Las Vegas, Osbon “moved through the aircraft and was disruptive and had to be subdued and forcibly restrained from re-entering the cockpit,” the Amarillo Globe-News reports, citing the indictment.
The first officer, Jason Dowd, safely landed Flight 191 in Amarillo, Texas.
If convicted, Osbon could face 20 years in prison.
Information from the Associated Press was included in this report.