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Editorial:

Case meets rightful end

April 24, 2010

Nadine Kay Hays’ yearlong quest to clear her name of a misdemeanor battery charge, stemming from a tussle with a security agent at Bob Hope Airport who tried to take her 93-year-old mother’s snacks, appears to have prevailed — not in the court of rigid enforcement, but of common sense.

Burbank prosecutors were geared up for what could have turned into a five-day trial on whether Hays smacked the arm of a Transportation Security Administration agent who tried to wrest away a cooler packed with applesauce and other snacks for her ailing mother on a flight to Nashville, Tenn.

But Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Fred Rotenberg neutralized the bureaucratic fiasco Tuesday when he agreed to drop the charge in exchange for six months of staying out of trouble.

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Hays, a grandmother of six, has maintained she never should have got in trouble — her case bolstered by an Internet clip of security footage showing more of a scuffle than a full-fledged assault and a major backlash among radio talk show hosts and the public.

It took quite a bit of shuffling before the case ended up on Rotenberg’s docket, after Hays’ attorney had it moved out of Burbank to avoid what she claimed was a biased court. After a stop in Pasadena, it came to Glendale, where it met its rightful end.

In a case hampered by inexplicable determination on the part of prosecutors to pursue an overblown battery charge, it’s nice to see that it wasn’t Hays who got applesauce on her face.


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