In The News

UPDATE: Grand jury clears Little Elm attorney who carried gun onto plane at D/FW Airport

By Matt Peterson/Editor
3:00 PM on Fri., Mar. 30, 2012

Update: A Tarrant County grand jury declined to indict a Little Elm attorney who carried a gun through a security checkpoint and onto a plane at D/FW Airport in January.

Arrested Jan. 18, Judith Kenney told authorities that she had forgotten the .38-caliber pistol was in her computer bag.

The grand jury no-billed Kenney today, meaning they did not find probable cause to bring the case to court, according to the Tarrant County district attorney's office.

Original entry:

Update 7:30 p.m. by Avi Selk: The woman's name is Judith Kenney, an attorney based in Addison. Her own lawyer, David Finn, offered this defense for the incident:

Kenney routinely carried the gun in her computer bag for protection, Finn said. She had a concealed handgun license until it expired a few months ago, when she was out of the country and let the renewal slip.

After waking up for an early flight, she didn't realize she the gun was still in her bag at the airport until authorities pulled her off the plane.

Kenney called Finn crying, he said, "mortified, apologetic and contrite" for the trouble she caused.

She bonded out of jail earlier today and has yet to be formally charged. If and when charges come, Finn expects to argue before a grand jury that they be dropped.

"She's not a criminal, not a terrorist," he said. "It was an honest mistake."

Update, 1:32 p.m.: NBC 5 reports that the woman has been released from custody.

The Little Elm resident reportedly grabbed her purse off a conveyor belt at a Terminal D security checkpoint before TSA agents spotted the handgun.

NBC cameramen got video (below) of a woman they identified as the suspect being questioned by security. Her name has not been released.

Original entry:

A 65-year-old woman was arrested this morning after carrying a revolver aboard a plane at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

The incident began about 6 a.m. when officials with the Transportation Administration alerted airport police that someone had passed through a security checkpoint without undergoing a "secondary screening."

Officers with the airport's Department of Public Safety swept all five terminals looking for the woman, concentrating on Terminal D, airport spokesman David Magana said in a press release.

It's unclear how the woman, who was not identified, was able to carry the .38-caliber handgun through the checkpoint in her handbag. Magana said the FBI is also investigating.

About 8 a.m., officers learned that the woman had made it on board an American Airlines flight headed to Houston (Flight 2385), and it was ordered back to its gate.

The woman was taken into custody and will face a third-degree felony firearms charge ("places weapons prohibited").

During the incident, 10 flights were delayed up to 25 minutes, Magana said, but operations have since returned to normal.

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