The longtime American Airlines flight attendant stopped Friday at an O'Hare International Airport security checkpoint didn't know she had a loaded gun in her carry-on bag, her attorney said Saturday.
Sheila Schultz, 65, of Palatine nodded just once and otherwise stood silently Saturday afternoon in a crowded Chicago courtroom before Cook County Judge Israel Desierto, who set her bail at $10,000.
Defense attorney David Studenroth said Schultz's husband accidentally left the gun -- a fully loaded .22 caliber revolver -- in the travel bag without her knowledge.
Schultz, a 44-year airline employee with no arrest record, was taken into custody at about 9:30 a.m. Friday after Transportation Security Administration agents discovered the weapon in an X-ray machine during routine screening.
Studenroth wouldn't elaborate after the brief bond hearing, saying he didn't want to jeopardize the defense he intends to present.
"I will say there is a reason, there is an explanation," said Studenroth, whose offices are in Park Ridge.
Schultz, of the 1200 block of North Grove Avenue, faces a felony charge of boarding an aircraft with a weapon and possessing a firearm without a valid firearm owner's identification card, a misdemeanor.
Schultz's husband and one of her two adult sons attended the hearing, but declined to comment. They immediately posted the required 10 percent bail, or $1,000, for Schultz's release.
Her next court date is Friday, Nov. 30, at the Branch 50 court building, 5555 W. Grand Ave., Chicago.