Lexington’s Michael Kerr has traveled full circle – to Charlotte and jail.
Last July, the man had three Jack Daniels on his hour-long flight to Charlotte, attacked the crew and had to be dragged off the plane. Freed on bond, he got engaged the same day. Late last year he pleaded guilty to federal charges in connection with the incident.
But before he could be sentenced, Kerr was arrested and charged in Kentucky with domestic violence and resisting arrest, charges he did not report to his federal probation officer as required.
That violated the terms of Kerr’s supervised release. U.S. District Magistrate Judge Robert E. Wier in Lexington ordered Kerr be jailed and transferred to Charlotte to determine if his federal bond should be revoked. And that put him back in the Mecklenburg County jail on Tuesday.
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Court documents say to be freed, Kerr must “clearly show that he is unlikely to flee or pose a danger.” Given that within the last nine months he has been pleaded guilty to one crime of violence and has been charged with another, it’s unclear how difficult a task that might be.
The shaved-head and baleful arrest mug of Kerr became a viral poster for in-flight violence after his original arrest. An updated version is now posted on the Mecklenburg Jail website.
According to an FBI affidavit, Kerr was served three Jack Daniels after takeoff on his American Airlines night flight into Charlotte on July 21 – it’s not clear if he had been drinking before boarding.
As the plane taxied to a gate at Charlotte Douglas International, Kerr ignored flight crew orders and got out of his seat, the affidavit says. When an attendant interceded, Kerr threatened to break her jaw.
Matters deteriorated from there.
Kerr, appearing intoxicated, walked quickly to the front of the plane and cursed at the flight crew. He kicked one attendant in the leg and shoved another to the floor, the affidavit says. The pilot and co-pilot, listed only by their initials in the document, got Kerr on the ground and used a seat belt strap to restrain his legs and keep him from kicking.
When Charlotte-Mecklenburg police arrived, Kerr was handcuffed but kept kicking, requiring other police officers to be summoned before Kerr could be removed from the plane.
Jail records indicate Kerr, now 26, was booked in the Mecklenburg County Jail on Tuesday morning. He will stay there until a court hearing on his alleged probation violation.
In his latest legal troubles, Kerr was charged March 2 with domestic violence after he allegedly struck his husband in the head, according to state and federal court records. The resisting arrest charge was added because he again was combative, this time with officers, as he was being arrested, records say.
Kerr was fired from his job as a cook at Portofino restaurant in Lexington following the July airplane assault.