Reporting Tony Hanson
Filed underCrime, Crime and Justice, Heard On, Local, News, Philadelphia, Syndicated Local, Traffic & Transportation, Watch + Listen
By Tony Hanson
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The man behind a terrifying incident last year on a US Airways flight out of Philadelphia was sentenced today to 15 months in prison.
Kenneth Smith Jr. admitted he made a hoax call, the culmination of a feud involving a woman.
Smith admitted that he called airport police, falsely claiming the former boyfriend of the woman was smuggling liquid explosives onto a flight to Dallas-Forth Worth (see related stories).
Smith said he did it because the other man had posted a compromising picture of the woman on Facebook.
The flight was diverted back to Philadelphia, where armed police stormed the plane that had dozens of passengers and crew on board.
“I have tremendous compassion and empathy, as does Mr. Smith, for the fear and terror these people felt, and he is tremendously sorry for that. But this was not a terrorist act,” said defense attorney William Brennan (below) following the sentencing.
Smith himself broke down in court as he told the judge he can’t imagine what he had put the passengers and crewmembers through.