Baby Slapper Gets 8-Month Prison Sentence

Joe Rickey Hundley's lawyer says the punishment is "disproportionate" to the crime

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An Idaho man was sentenced to eight months in prison on Monday after pleading guilty to the assault of a 19-month-old boy, who he slapped on a Delta flight last February.

Joe Rickey Hundley had pleaded guilty in October after being charged in federal court. His lawyer, Marcia Shein, told CNN that though she respects the judge’s ruling, she found the eight-month sentence “disproportionate” to the crime. According to Shein, the prosecutor had recommended a sentence of only six months.

Last February, Hundley sat next to Jessica Bennett and her young son, who is black, on a flight from Minneapolis to Atlanta. When her son began to cry he told her to “shut that n—-r baby up,” CNN reports. According to the FBI affidavit, Hundley later slapped the boy across the face causing a scratch below his right eye.

Hundley’s lawyer claims he was under distress while heading to Atlanta to decide whether or not to take his son, who was in a coma due to an insulin overdose, off of life support. Hundley’s son died the day after the flight.

His lawyer did not tell CNN when or where Hundley would be serving out his sentence.