WILMINGTON -- The "mile-high trial" is now in the hands of a jury. The case is going on in Wilmington's federal courthouse.
Carl Persing could get up to 20 years in prison if he's found guilty of interfering with a flight attendant by intimidation.
He took the stand today to explain what happened on a flight to Raleigh last September.
According to attorneys, Persing was feeling lethargic because of recent chemotherapy he had received to treat a liver disease -- so he laid his head in his girlfriend's lap.
A flight attendant on the Southwest flight confronted Persing and told him to lift his head.
Earlier this week the flight attendant testified that Persing began threatening him with violence and calling him names.
Eight other passengers on the flight testified in Persing's defense saying they felt the flight attendant was out of line.
One passenger even told the jury he was so offended by the flight attendant's attitude towards Persing that he wrote a two-page letter to southwest airlines.
Persing was offered a plea deal before the trial started. He could have plead to a misdemeanor simple assault, but turned it down.
Persing's co-defendant Dawn Sewell was facing the same charges. They were dismissed by the judge yesterday because she didn't encourage Persing's behavior.
The jury now has three factors to consider:
- Whether Persing was on the flight
- If he intimidated the flight attendant
- If that intimidation was enough to prevent the flight attendant from doing his job.