A judge denied a motion today to throw out the state's case against two former America West pilots accused of trying to fly drunk.
Attorney Jeffrey Freeman, who represents Christopher Hughes, asked a judge to dismiss the case because Hughes and fellow pilot Thomas Cloyd could be charged only under federal law. Freeman said the men couldn't be charged in state court because it doesn't have jurisdiction.
But Circuit Judge David Young said the men should be tried in his court. The defense said it will appeal.
Prosecutors said the two men were drinking heavily before boarding the July 1 Miami-to-Phoenix flight. Tests showed both men had blood-alcohol levels over Florida's limit of 0.08 percent after their plane returned to the gate moments after beginning its taxi to the runway.
Hughes, 41, and Cloyd, 44, have pleaded not guilty to felony charges of operating an aircraft and motor vehicle under the influence and culpable negligence.
Young also refused a request by several major media networks to release the airport security tape that contains footage of the pilots before boarding the plane. He cited security concerns voiced by the U.S. Transportation Security Administration, which has the tape.
The prosecution will present the tape as evidence during the trial, which was pushed back from Nov. 4 to Feb. 10.