Former JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater appeared in a New York City courtroom on Tuesday, and it appears he is looking for a deal. Slater did not speak during the four-minute hearing, nor did he enter a plea.
Slater is charged with trespassing, reckless endangerment and criminal mischief in connection with his infamous tirade on a JetBlue flight last month. The charges carry a prison sentence of up to seven years, but his attorney hopes it doesn't get that far.
"We're looking for as favorable a disposition for Mr. Slater as we can," Daniel Horwitz said.
Assistant District Attorney Benjamin Mantell confirmed the plea talks.
Queens DA Richard Brown said Slater would be evaluated to see if he qualifies for an alternative sentencing program that could spare him prison time. Such a program has been used with returning war vets whose mental health issues contributed to their crime.
"We'll see what this defendant's needs are," Brown said.
However, when asked if prison is still a possibility, Brown said, "I don't think anything is off the table."
Brown said despite the public perception, this is a very serious matter. "I have said from the beginning that I’ve been very much troubled by the fact that both the defendant and the media have been trivializing that which occurred," Brown said. "Deploying an emergency escape chute on an aircraft filled with passengers is no laughing matter."
Here is Slater arriving at court, departing, and his lawyer's comments: