BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The attorney for a flight attendant accused of disrupting SkyWest flights with fake bomb threats is seeking another delay to the trial, in a move that could give attorneys more time to hammer out a plea agreement.
It’s unclear if talks are in the works, but a federal prosecutor reiterated Friday that Justin Cox-Sever’s case is unlikely to go before a jury and a federal public defender said nothing is off the table.
Cox-Sever, of Tempe, Arizona, has pleaded not guilty in North Dakota to two charges of interfering with an aircraft. Prosecutors say he made bogus bomb threats about a July 2015 flight from Charlottesville, Virginia, to Chicago, and a September flight from Minneapolis to Dickinson, North Dakota.
Cox-Sever faces similar charges in Virginia, but has yet to enter a plea.
Assistant Federal Public Defender Michelle Monteiro said in her request filed Wednesday that she needs more time to prepare for the trial, currently scheduled for early June. She’s seeking a delay of at least two months. U.S. District Judge Dan Hovland did not immediately rule.
The trial was originally scheduled for late February, and has already been delayed twice.
Court documents indicate the Virginia case could be transferred to North Dakota, and federal prosecutor Gary Delorme said earlier this year that would indicate a plea agreement or a change of plea might occur. He said cases generally don’t get transferred for trials, and the federal rule of criminal procedure cited in the court documents affirms that.
Delorme said Friday that a plea deal is still likely. Federal Public Defender Neil Fulton declined to say whether a deal is being sought but said the defense wants to continue the case “to evaluate all options.”
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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