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Ex-flight attendant's apartment burglarized while he is in court

By The CNN Wire Staff
Former JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater pleaded guilty to two counts of criminal mischief as part of a plea deal.
Former JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater pleaded guilty to two counts of criminal mischief as part of a plea deal.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • In August, Steven Slater used an emergency chute for dramatic exit from plane
  • While he was in court Tuesday, his apartment was burglarized
  • District attorney says the brother of Slater's partner was the culprit

New York (CNN) -- While former flight attendant Steven Slater was in court Tuesday on charges stemming from the deployment of an airplane's emergency chute, his apartment was burglarized, according to a news release from the Queens County district attorney.

And this allegedly wasn't a random act of burglary. The brother of Slater's partner was the perpetrator, the district attorney said.

"The defendant is accused basically of a crime of opportunity -- brazenly breaking into his brother's apartment in broad daylight when he knew that nobody would be home," Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said of the man charged in the burglary.

Jonathan Rochelle, 39, of Belle Harbor, Queens was awaiting arraignment Wednesday in Queens Criminal Court on second-degree burglary and other charges, according to the district attorney's office.

Video: Slater: I'm moving forward with my life
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According to the charges, Rochelle stole a laptop, printer, and microwave. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison.

Slater -- who gained nationwide attention in August when he cursed a passenger over a public address system, deployed the plane's emergency evacuation slide and used it to dramatically exit the JetBlue plane as it sat at John F. Kennedy International Airport -- pleaded guilty Tuesday to two counts of attempted criminal mischief.

Under a plea deal, he must enter a yearlong mental health program.

CNN's Julie Cannold contributed to this report.

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