Stowaway Pleads Not Guilty After Chicago to London Flight

By DON BABWIN, Associated Press

CHICAGO (AP) — An Illinois woman with a history of sneaking onto planes pleaded not guilty Wednesday to felony theft, burglary and other charges for allegedly thwarting security at a Chicago airport and flying to London before anyone realized she didn’t have a ticket.

FILE – This January 2018 file photo provided by the Chicago Police Department shows Marilyn Hartman. Hartman, who authorities say is a serial stowaway, pleaded not guilty Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018 after she was accused of flying ticketless from Chicago to London last month. A judge released the 66-year-old woman after the Jan. 18 incident and told her to stay away from airports. However Hartman was arrested again at O’Hare International Airport about a week later. (Chicago Police Department via AP, File)

Marilyn Hartman, 66, answered a few procedural questions from the judge during the hearing. Hartman, of Grayslake, has been jailed without bond since being caught at O’Hare International Airport two weeks after her January arrest for allegedly sneaking onto the flight to London, in violation of a judge’s order to stay away from airports.

Hartman’s attorney, Parle Roe-Taylor, told the judge Wednesday that she’d be prepared to discuss her motion to review Hartman’s bond during the next hearing, which is scheduled for March 22.

After the hearing, Roe-Taylor said a report has been completed by the county’s forensic clinical services to determine Hartman’s mental fitness to stand trial and her sanity at the time of last month’s flight to London. She said she hoped to have a copy of the report later Wednesday.

Roe-Taylor said she is looking into a facility where Hartman might be allowed to stay instead of jail, though she would not elaborate. But persuading Cook County Circuit Judge Maura Slattery Boyle to allow such a move might be difficult, given Hartman’s arrest at O’Hare two weeks after the London flight. She faces misdemeanor charges of trespassing and violating the terms of her release in that incident.

Hartman, who prosecutors have called a “serial stowaway,” has been apprehended in or near airports around the United States several times in recent years. In a handful of those cases she has made it onto jets, where she has been captured either before the flights took off or after they have landed. With each arrest, her story has garnered more local and national media attention.

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