Belligerent airline passenger wins appeal in 9th Circuit

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The Korean dentist was apparently drunk during his flight and even lit a cigarette in the airplane.

Guam – A South Korean dentist who became irate and went on a tirade while on a flight to Guam last year has won his appeal in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and will now have to be re-sentenced.

Kwon Woo Sung was a passenger on Korean Airlines flight 2115, en route from Seoul, Korea to Guam in April of 2016.

According to Court documents, Sung caused “an unsafe disturbance,” and that while aboard the flight, Sung smoked a cigarette in the airplane’s lavatory and had to be denied alcohol after he consumed five beers.

This caused Sung to become angry. He began to yell and attempted to fight a flight attendant and four to five other passengers. This tirade resulted in Sung being restrained with his hands and feet tied and held down for the remainder of the flight.

He was charged with and pleaded guilty to interference with flight attendants.

Sung was sentenced to 29 months behind bars, but the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the sentence citing the District Court’s failure to utilize the sentencing guidelines as a starting point.

Court documents state that “because the District Court did not use the guidelines as the baseline for sentencing, it committed reversible procedural error.”

As a result the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ordered Sung’s original sentence to be vacated and Sung remanded for re-sentencing.

SOURCEJolene Toves
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Jolene joined the PNC team in 2017, as a producer, co-anchor and investigative reporter covering law enforcement, courts and crimes. Notable coverage includes the Ehlert case, the Mark Torre Jr. trial, the Allan Agababa trial, exclusive pieces on the Life of a Drug Dealer/Addict, and Life behind bars...the story of Honofre Chargualaf and Kevin Cruz. In 2019, she was promoted to Assistant News Director and Lead Anchor. From 2015 to 2017 she served as Public Relations and Promotions Manager, for the Hotel Nikko Guam handling local radio and advertorial promotions, as well as produced and directed tv commercials for the hotel. Prior to this she worked with KUAM for three years as a reporter and segment host. She began her journalism career in 2012, working with Glimpses of Guam contributing to the Guam Business Magazine, R&R magazine, MDM magazine and the Marianas Business Journal.