JetBlue passenger Marcus Covington working toward plea agreement after arrest in Denver

Covington accused of abusive sexual contact

DENVER - A Chicago man accused of groping a pregnant woman on a JetBlue flight and ignoring crew instructions appears to be headed toward a plea agreement.

   Documents filed in U.S. District Court in Denver show Marcus Covington has a change-of-plea hearing Nov. 27, when a judge is scheduled to consider a proposed plea deal.

   Covington is charged with interference with a flight attendant and abusive sexual contact during a flight in August. He was arrested after the Los Angeles-bound flight from New York made an emergency landing in Denver in August.

Prosecutors said Covington was intoxicated and making some of his fellow passengers nervous because he was walking up to their seats and saying things to them that did not make sense.

At one point, passengers seated next to Covington asked to be reseated.

When Covington was waiting to use a lavatory, he groped a 27-year-old pregnant women, United States Attorney John Walsh said. The woman pushed him away then stood behind a flight attendant. The flight attendant asked Covington to stay seated because he was making other passengers uncomfortable, Walsh said. Covington allegedly told the flight attendant to get away from him, prosecutors said.

"As a result of his assaultive and intimidating behavior, an FBI special agent, who was traveling on the flight as a passenger, was asked by flight crew to assist in dealing with Covington," Walsh said.

The captain decided to divert the flight to Denver International Airport. The FBI agent and another passenger sat next to Covington to keep him under control while the plane made the unscheduled landing.

Upon the aircraft’s arrival at the gate, Covington was escorted off the plane in handcuffs. While Denver Police Department officers were attempting to get Covington to sit in a chair, he kicked at, and spit on them while threatening to kill them, according to prosecutors.