Mississippi jet fueler denied bond in theft of small plane

Sep 5, 2022, 6:46 PM | Updated: Sep 6, 2022, 7:35 am

A stolen airplane rests in a field of soybeans after crash-landing near Ripley, Miss., on Saturday,...

A stolen airplane rests in a field of soybeans after crash-landing near Ripley, Miss., on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022. Authorities say a man who stole a plane and flew it over Mississippi after threatening to crash it into a Walmart store faces charges of grand larceny and terroristic threats. Tupelo Police Chief John Quaka said Cory Wayne Patterson didn't have a pilot's license but had some flight instruction and was an employee of Tupelo Aviation.(AP Photo/Nikki Boertman)

(AP Photo/Nikki Boertman)

TUPELO, Miss. (AP) — A man charged with stealing a plane that he didn’t know how to land will remain behind bars, denied bond by a judge who took a dim view of his lawyer’s promise that he wouldn’t take off again.

Airport worker Cory Wayne Patterson allegedly stole the plane on Saturday after posting a goodbye message saying he “never actually wanted to hurt anyone.” Police say he called 911 threatening to crash the plane into a Walmart and circled for five hours over unnerved Mississippians before safely landing in a soybean field.

At an initial court appearance in Tupelo on Sunday, Patterson, 29, of Shannon, was formally charged with grand larceny and making terrorist threats, The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reported.

“No pun intended, he is not a flight risk,” public defender Dennis Farris told the judge, noting that Patterson had no prior record, no one was hurt and his family members live in the area, the newspaper reported. “I feel he should be eligible for bond. And because of the wording of the terrorist threat law, I don’t think that charge will stick. We are asking for a bond commensurate with the grand larceny charge.”

But Tupelo Police Chief John Quaka said the danger level was high.

“This was a flying bomb,” he said.

Patterson, a 10-year Tupelo Aviation employee, fueled planes at the Tupelo Regional Airport, took off in the fully-fueled twin-engine Beechcraft King Air C90A shortly after 5 a.m., Quaka said. He called a Lee County 911 dispatcher 15 minutes later to say he planned to crash into a Tupelo Walmart, prompting officers to evacuate the building and a nearby convenience store, the chief said.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Image: Ambulances are seen at the airport where a London-Singapore flight that encountered severe t...

Associated Press

World news roundup: Man dies after turbulence; Iran funerals; Israel media law

A Singapore Airlines flight hit severe turbulence over the Indian Ocean and descended 6,000 feet in a span of about three minutes.

2 days ago

Image: Bruce Nordstrom, left, and Jeannie Nordstrom attend the Nordstrom NYC Flagship Opening Party...

Associated Press

Bruce Nordstrom, who helped grow family-led department store chain, dies at 90

Bruce Nordstrom, a retail executive who helped expand his family's Pacific Northwest chain into an upscale national brand, has died.

3 days ago

Image:Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting at the prime min...

Associated Press

World news roundup: Netanyahu arrest warrant; Assange can appeal; UK blood scandal

The International Criminal Court said it is seeking arrest warrants for Israeli and Hamas leaders, including Benjamin Netanyahu.

3 days ago

Image: In this photo released by the Iranian Presidency Office, President Ebrahim Raisi attends a m...

Associated Press

Iran president and others found dead at helicopter crash site, state media says

Iran President Ebrahim Raisi, the country’s foreign minister and others have been found dead at the site of a helicopter crash Monday.

3 days ago

Photo: Shawna Williams, owner of Free Range Cycles, poses outside her shop on May 6, 2024, in Seatt...

Mae Anderson, The Associated Press

Bike shops boomed early in the pandemic. It’s been a bumpy ride for most ever since

For the nation's bicycle shops, the past few years have probably felt like the business version of the Tour de France, with numerous twists and turns testing their endurance.

4 days ago

Image: A person wears a T-shirt with the names of Kristin Smith, Charity Lynn Perry, Joanna Speaks,...

Associated Press

Man probed in deaths of women in northwest Oregon indicted in 3 killings

A man who has been under investigation in the deaths of four women whose bodies were found across northwest Oregon has been indicted.

5 days ago

Mississippi jet fueler denied bond in theft of small plane