Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Pennsylvania pilot accused of being drunk is in treatment, case postponed

ROMULUS (WWJ) – The case against an American Airlines co-pilot accused of being drunk on the job has been delayed because he’s at a treatment center out-of-state.

Speaking at a hearing Wednesday morning in Romulus District Court, John Maguire’s defense attorney Frank Manley explained his client’s absence.

“My client is in California,” Manley told the judge. “We’ve had a number of conversations with the court and with the prosecutor’s office relative to adjourning this matter so that he can undergo treatment.”

Maguire’s blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit as the time of his arrest at Detroit Metro Airport in March.

Manley said the 50-year-old Maguire had no history of alcohol abuse leading up to his arrest. However, before proceeding with the case, Manley wants to make sure any potential issues are investigated.

“It’s a situation where when anyone is charged with this we want to ensure the best possible defense; we want to make sure there is no problem. If there is one, we want to make sure that it’s taken care of,” Manley said.

Manley said it “was a surprise to everyone” when Maguire, a Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania resident, was removed from a Detroit-to-Philadelphia flight before takeoff on suspicion of drunkenness.

He was arrested and later charged with one count of aircraft – operating under the influence.

In comments to reporters following Monday’s hearing, Manley implied he believes his client may return to work as a pilot.

“People look at it differently because there’s other people involved, because there’s passengers involved, and we wanna make sure, again, that we do everything possible to protect Captain Maguire’s rights and to protect the public and make sure that they understand that Captain Maguire is safe behind the wheel of a plane,” Manley said.

Court proceedings were rescheduled for late June.

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