Government dismisses charges in stolen plane case after defendant dies

Nov. 30—OXFORD — A federal court judge dismissed the charges against a man accused of stealing and crashing a plane after the accused man died in federal custody.

Cory Wayne Patterson, 29, of Shannon, was found unresponsive Nov. 14 around 1:20 p.m. at the Federal Detention Center Miami in Miami, Florida. He had been transferred there for a court-ordered psychological evaluation.

Patterson was facing two felony charges in connection with the Sept. 3 theft of a Beechcraft King Air turboprop airplane from the Tupelo Regional Airport, where he worked for 10 years. After initially threatening to crash the plane into a Walmart, he flew around northeast Mississippi for hours before crashing into a rural Tippah County bean field.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Parker King filed a motion Monday in U.S. District Court in Oxford to dismiss the indictments. Acting U.S. Attorney Clay Joyner said this was the "only mechanism by which the case can be removed from the active docket."

The following day, Chief Judge Debra Brown dismissed the indictment and closed the case.