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Homesick Hijacker Appeals 20-year US Prison Sentence

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William Potts leaving Havana on Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013. (Source: CBS4)

William Potts leaving Havana on Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013. (Source: CBS4)

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South Florida Crime

MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) —An American who hijacked a jetliner to Cuba in 1984, is appealing his 20-year prison sentence after he plead guilty to U.S. kidnapping charges.

William Potts Jr’s attorney filed a notice of appeal Thursday. Potts has been seeking credit for the 13 years he spent in Cuba after hijacking the jet in 1984 on its way from New York to Miami.

Potts returned voluntarily from Cuba last year to resolve the U.S. case. Under his current sentence, the 57-year-old Potts would be eligible for parole after nearly seven years.

The FBI said the New Jersey native identified himself during the hijacking as a black militant and claimed in a note to a flight attendant that he planned to blow up the flight unless it diverted to Havana.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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