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Texas Man Guilty of Interference with Maui Bound Flight Crew

American Airlines 777-300ER File photo

A federal jury found William Clark Turner, 53, of Kemp, Texas, guilty of one count of interference with a flight attendant. The verdict followed a four-day jury trial. Sentencing is scheduled for June 5, 2017, before Senior District Judge Susan Oki Mollway.

Florence T. Nakakuni, United States Attorney, said that according to information produced in court, on March 14, 2016, Turner, a physician, was flying on American Airlines from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport non-stop to Maui, when he interfered with the ability of the flight attendant to perform her duties. According to witness testimony, Turner was threatening and verbally abusive toward other passengers, diverting a flight attendant from her normal duties to manage the situation. When Turner’s actions were communicated to the pilot, he placed the cockpit in lockdown, locking the doors for the duration of the flight so that no one could enter or exit the cockpit.

Turner faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years. The jury also found him not guilty of two counts of simple assault.

The investigation was led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The prosecution was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Margaret Nammar and Jill Otake.

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