CRIME

Utahn sentenced after threatening an airline passenger with a straight edge razor

Feb 16, 2024, 3:49 PM

Merrill Fackrell, 41, being escorted out of the JetBlue plane in Salt Lake City. (Courtesy: Abraham...

Merrill Fackrell, 41, being escorted out of the JetBlue plane in Salt Lake City. (Courtesy: Abraham Neiderhauser

SALT LAKE CITY — A 41-year-old man from Syracuse was sentenced on Wednesday after using a straight-edge razor blade on a JetBlue flight in 2022.

According to a release from the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Utah, Merrill Darrell Fackrell pled guilty to carrying a weapon on an aircraft.

According to court documents, Fackrell took a wood-handled straight-edge razor with a one-to-two-inch blade on board the flight from the F. Kennedy International Airport in New York to the Salt Lake City Airport.

Fackrell admitted that he drank several alcoholic beverages during the flight while sitting next to a passenger.

“Later in the flight, Fackrell told the passenger to pause the movie the passenger was watching, placed his hand in front of the screen, took the straight edge razor out of his carry-on bag, and placed it inches from the passenger’s throat/neck,” the release stated.

According to the release, the passenger escaped from Fackrell, but he tried to grab their shoulder in an attempt to stop them.

Another passenger was able to convince Fackrell to put the razor down, and they were able to secure it away from Fackrell. That passenger sat next to then seated next to Fackrell for the rest of the flight.

“Carrying a dangerous weapon on an aircraft is a serious offense. No one should be put in harm’s way by another passenger during a flight,” said U.S. attorney Trina A. Higgins of the District of Utah. “In the interest of passenger safety, individuals who carry a dangerous weapon on an aircraft will be prosecuted.”

Fackrell was sentenced to serve over one year of imprisonment and three years of supervised release. Fackrell was also charged with an assault with a dangerous weapon in the special aircraft jurisdiction of the U.S., but it was dismissed.

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Utahn sentenced after threatening an airline passenger with a straight edge razor