Accused SFO-Bound Cockpit Intruder Pleads Not Guilty
SAN FRANCISCO (CBS/AP) — A 26-year-old Yemeni native accused of trying to barge into the cockpit of a San Francisco-bound flight has pleaded not guilty to a felony charge of interfering with a flight crew.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Corley on Friday ordered Rageh Al-Murisi to remain in Alameda County jail without bail until his next scheduled hearing on June 23.
Al-Murisi could face 20 years in prison and $350,000 in fines and restitution payments for the May 8 incident aboard American Airlines Flight 1561 from Chicago.
Al-Murisi allegedly tried to open the cockpit door twice before he was subdued by crew members and several passengers. Authorities say he repeatedly yelled “Allahu Akbar”—“God is great” in Arabic.
Al-Murisi’s lawyer, Christopher Morales, says his client was in mental crisis and did not intend to crash the plane.
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