- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 17, 2016

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - A federal judge in North Dakota has granted a third trial delay for an Arizona-based flight attendant accused of disrupting SkyWest flights in the upper Midwest and on the East Coast last year.

The defense attorney for Justin Cox-Sever said earlier this month that she wanted more time to prepare, and prosecutors didn’t object. U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland has moved the trial from early June to early August. It originally had been scheduled for late February and had already been delayed twice.

Cox-Sever, of Tempe, Arizona, is accused of making bogus bomb threats on a July flight from Charlottesville, Virginia, to Chicago, and on a September flight from Minneapolis to Dickinson, North Dakota. The first incident resulted in the plane turning around mid-flight, and the second resulted in the temporary shutdown of the Dickinson airport.

Cox-Sever has pleaded not guilty in North Dakota to two charges of interfering with an aircraft. He faces three similar charges in Virginia but has yet to enter a plea, and there has been no action in that case since early February.

Court documents indicate the Virginia case could be transferred to North Dakota, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Gary Delorme has told The Associated Press that would indicate a plea agreement or a change of plea would be more likely than a trial. Federal Public Defender Neil Fulton has said only that the defense wants to “to evaluate all options.”

If the case does go to trial, it will begin Aug. 1 in U.S. District Court in Bismarck, and is likely to last three days, according to Hovland’s order filed May 6.

Cox-Sever is no longer employed by SkyWest, though the airline won’t say whether he was fired or left on his own.

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