5 Nov 2005

Samoa man who tried to interfere with flight crew deemed insane

12:46 pm on 5 November 2005

A Samoan man, who charged the cockpit of a Honolulu-to-Seattle flight has been deemed not guilty by reason of insanity and turned over to the custody of the US attorney general's office, which will try to find him medical treatment.

Reno Maiava, a former Washington state prison inmate, was subdued by undercover air marshals who were on board to monitor him during a Northwest Airlines flight in December 2003.

The US attorney's office in Seattle agreed to let him plead not guilty by reason of insanity to a charge of interfering with a flight crew.

US District Judge John Coughenour determined that Maiava failed to show the public would not be at risk if he were released.

Coughenour turned Maiava over to the attorney general's office for placement in a treatment facility, most likely in his home state of Hawaii, or Washington.

Maiava yelled obscenities at federal officials during his initial appearance in US District Court in Seattle.