In a reader poll we took back in August, 80 percent of you expressed the view that JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater, famous for his on-board meltdown and dramatic exit, is not a criminal (or shouldn’t be treated as one).
Well, now he is. This morning Steve Slater pled guilty to second-degree attempted criminal mischief, a felony, and a lesser charge of fourth-degree attempted criminal mischief, a misdemeanor. Although flight attendants are used to spending long periods of time in confined spaces, Slater isn’t getting any prison time.
Pursuant to the plea agreement, Slater must go through at least one year of mental health counseling and substance abuse treatment. If he completes the program in satisfactory fashion, the felony charge will be dismissed, and he’ll be sentenced to a year of probation on the remaining misdemeanor count.
Did anything exciting happen at the hearing? Did Slater take a page from his JetBlue playbook, call Judge Marcia Hirsch a “f**king asshole,” and tell her to “f**k off”?
Alas, no. Slater was described as polite and calm during the proceedings. He exited the courtroom through doors, not via inflatable chute.
Outside of the courthouse, Steve Slater continued to maintain his cool: “At the end of the day, I’m a grown-up and I must take responsibility for my actions.” He thanked his mother and his partner Kenneth for their kindness and support during the ordeal.
We wish Slater the best — and hope that he gets a book or television deal out of this.
(Issue spotting: New York’s “Son of Sam” law. Commenters: go!)
JetBlue Attendant in Famous Meltdown Pleads Guilty [Associated Press]
Steven Slater Pleads Guilty, Slides Out of Jail Time [WSJ Law Blog]
Cartoon credit: Aurich Lawson.