14/08/2014 12:48 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Man Who Slapped Crying Toddler On Flight Was On His Way To Turn Off Son's Life Support Machine

Company boss who slapped crying toddler on flight was on his way to turn off son's life support machine

A 60-year-old company boss who was accused of slapping and racially abusing a baby on a flight was travelling to his son's bedside to make the decision of whether to take him off life support.

Joe Rickey Hundley's lawyer said he was 'upset and grieving' while travelling to Atlanta to decide whether to remove his son from life support.

Just 24 hours earlier, his son had overdosed on insulin and was 'in a coma for life', attorney Marcia Shein said in a statement.

He died the day after the alleged slapping incident.

"On the flight, he was in distress, upset and grieving," she said.

Mr Hundley, from Hayden, Idaho, pleaded not guilty to federal assault charges.

We reported last month how Mr Hundley allegedly demanded that Jessica Bennett, 33, the mother of crying 19-month-old Jonah 'shut that n****r baby up' before slapping the infant in the face.

Mr Hundley lost his job as an executive with an aerospace company as a result.

Ms Bennett - who is white - was travelling on the Delta flight from Minneapolis to Atlanta in the US for a family funeral.

She told authorities that her son 'started to cry due to the altitude change' as the plane prepared for landing. The mum said she was unable to stop the infant crying.

A report compiled by FBI Agent Daron Cheney alleged that Mr Hundley turned to the mother and used the racial slur in telling her to shut up the child.

It was reported that Mr Hundley then 'turned around and slapped' the toddler in the face 'with an open hand, which caused the juvenile victim to scream even louder'.

Ms Bennett told ABC News: "When I looked at Jonah's face, his eye was swollen... and it was bleeding. I was just scared to death."

Mr Hundley's son, whose age was not given, died the day after the flight, Ms Shein said.

Mr Hundley 'has paid a terrible price for his hurtful words,' she added.

The assault charge carries a $100,000 fine and a maximum penalty of a year in jail.

Man Arrested For Slapping Baby On Flight