By Rick Sallinger

DENVER (CBS4) – A man now living in Colorado Springs has been sentenced to prison after being found guilty of disrupting a flight to Denver International Airport.

Joseph Wayne Lynch took his chances with a jury and lost. Convicted of interfering with a flight crew he learned his sentence on Tuesday.

Joseph Wayne Lynch (credit: CBS)

Joseph Wayne Lynch (credit: CBS)

It was Aug. 4 of last year on a U.S. Airways flight from Philadelphia to Denver. Prosecutors maintained Lynch had been drinking when he began kissing a flight attendant, yelling profanities, and threatened to take the airline down.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

CBS4’s Rick Sallinger attempted to speak with Lynch as he entered U.S. District Court on Tuesday.

“What do you have to say about your actions that day? Do you regret them?” Sallinger asked Lynch.

“Absolutely,” Lynch replied.

CBS4's Rick Sallinger attempts to interview Joseph Wayne Lynch (credit: CBS)

CBS4’s Rick Sallinger attempts to interview Joseph Wayne Lynch (credit: CBS)

When asked if he was asked if he was afraid of going to prison, Lynch didn’t reply.

Testimony in the trial indicated a flight attendant was so disturbed she grabbed an ice hammer, a pot of hot coffee, and enlisted passengers to help if necessary.

Prosecutors argued that Lynch put everyone on the flight at risk. They asked for 10 months in prison.

Lynch apologized to the court acknowledging he is a binge drinker. He had claimed he was a Green Beret while he lied about being in the military. The judge sentenced him to four months in federal prison. His attorney, John Richilano, says he will appeal the conviction.

Defense attorney John Richilano is interviewed by CBS4's Rick Sallinger (credit: CBS)

Defense attorney John Richilano is interviewed by CBS4’s Rick Sallinger (credit: CBS)

“We have a very interesting legal issue as to the mental state that is required for this type of offense,” Richilano said.

The trial took place in February and lasted three days. The jury took three hours to reach a verdict.

Lynch has been ordered not to have a drink and report to prison within 15 days.

CBS4’s Rick Sallinger is a Peabody award winning reporter who has been with the station more than two decades doing hard news and investigative reporting. Follow him on Twitter @ricksallinger.


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