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Airplane passenger who caused flight to be diverted to Billings pleads guilty

Crime Watch
Posted at 2:30 PM, Jun 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-30 16:56:12-04

BILLINGS - A Washington state man admitted Thursday to allegations that he interfered with a flight crew by jumping on a beverage cart and pushing a flight attendant into a seat, screaming and trying to take off his clothes on a commercial flight that was diverted to Billings for his removal from the plane.

Adam Alexander Williams, 33 of Auburn, Wash., pleaded guilty to an indictment charging him with interference with flight members and attendants, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office. He faces a maximum of 20 years in prison, a $25,000 fine and three years of supervised release.

A sentencing date will be set before U.S. District Judge Dana L. Christensen. The court will determine a sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. Williams was released pending further proceedings, the press release states.

Federal prosecutors alleged in court documents that on Jan. 9, Williams boarded an American Airlines flight departing Seattle for Charlotte, N.C. Once in the air, Williams’ behavior became erratic and escalated.

Williams yelled out to no one in particular, “Where is Jamie Sanders?” At one point, Williams jumped over passengers in his row and onto a beverage cart that was in service. As he came off of the cart, he almost landed on a flight attendant and pushed her into a seat, knocking drinks and cups to the ground. He then began to run down the aisle of the aircraft. Williams’ behavior startled the flight attendant, who later appeared distressed and traumatized.

Another flight attendant was able to calm Williams down and escort him to his seat. About 10 minutes later, Williams began to act up again and screamed an obscenity.

Flight attendants placed several Marines, who happened to be on the flight, in seats around Williams. Then, after roughly another 10 minutes, Williams stood up and began screaming while taking off his clothes. At that point, to ensure the safety of passengers, the aircraft’s captain turned the plane around and landed in Billings so that Williams could be removed.