Attorney: Palatine flight attendant didn't know she had gun

  • Sheila Schultz

    Sheila Schultz

Updated 11/24/2012 10:53 PM

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.

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