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August 1, 2014

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Pilot plans insanity defense in Las Vegas flight disruption

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Steve Douglas / AP

Emergency workers tend to a JetBlue captain that had a “medical situation” during a Las Vegas-bound flight from JFK International airport, Tuesday, March 27, 2012, in Amarillo, Texas. Passengers said the pilot screamed that Iraq or Afghanistan had planted a bomb on the flight, was locked out of the cockpit, and then tackled and restrained by passengers. The pilot who subsequently took command of the aircraft elected to land in Amarillo at about 10 a.m., JetBlue Airways said in a statement.

AMARILLO, Texas — A JetBlue Airways captain accused of disrupting a flight when he left the cockpit screaming about religion and terrorists plans to use an insanity defense at trial.

An attorney for Clayton F. Osbon filed a motion Wednesday outlining plans to argue Osbon was insane at the time of the incident on the March 27 flight from New York to Las Vegas.

Osbon remains jailed in Texas awaiting a court-ordered psychiatric exam to determine his competency for trial and whether he was legally sane when witnesses say he left the cockpit and ran screaming through the plane's cabin.

Passengers wrestled him to the floor and he was subdued until the plane made an emergency landing in Amarillo.

Prosecutor Christy Drake declined to comment on the filing Wednesday.

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