ANCHORAGE (AP) A federal jury has acquitted a man who was accused of causing a disruption aboard an Alaska Airlines flight from Seattle to Anchorage in February.
The jury deliberated for two days before deciding Monday that Gregory Alexander was not guilty.
Mr. Alexander had what I believe to be a complete defense,'' said Mike Dieni, an assistant federal public defender. He wasn't trying to get off on a technicality.''
Prosecutors said Alexander errupted several times with profanity toward a flight attendant after he got caught between a lovers' quarrel Feb. 14 on Alaska Airlines Flight 181. Flight attendants woke Alexander up on the flight and asked him to switch seats with Robert Radder after Radder and Dollie Drape had a drunken fight.
The verdict hinged on what jurors thought of the exchange between flight attendant Kira Freeman and Alexander. She testified that Alexander yelled at her in the galley near the cockpit, cursing and threatening her.
Prosecutor Dan Cooper said Alexander intimidated Freeman to the point that she feared for her safety.
In closing arguments, Dieni tried to portray Freeman as a liar. She claimed Alexander yelled, How dare you wake me up!'' But Dieni said Alexander wasn't woken up until later in the flight and her timing was off, the Anchorage Daily News reported.
Besides, he said, Mr. Alexander did not touch her, attempt to touch her, nor did he threaten to touch her.'' He said the prosecution was arguing that Alexander should be convicted for swearing and having bad manners.
Cooper countered that Alexander frightened Freeman. Witnesses were concerned for her safety when Alexander was yelling at her, he said.
Peninsula Clarion ©2013. All Rights Reserved.