An Illinois man could face up to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to trying to open a passenger jet door mid-flight.
Reynel Alcaide of Burbank, Ill., pleaded guilty Friday in federal court in St. Louis to interference with flight crew members and attendants. Sentencing is March 8.
Alcaide was on a Continental Airlines flight traveling from Houston to Chicago on May 8 when he repeatedly tried to open an exit door when the plane was in the air. Passengers and crew members eventually subdued him, and the flight was diverted to Lambert Airport in St. Louis.
A prosecutor says Alcaide told interviewers he was having marital problems and that he had tried to commit suicide before.