WILMINGTON, N.C. - A California man who prosecutors said got a little too friendly with his girlfriend during a flight was convicted yesterday of interfering with flight attendants and crew members.

Carl William Persing and his girlfriend were seen "embracing, kissing and acting in a manner that made other passengers uncomfortable" during the September flight from Los Angeles to Raleigh, according to a criminal complaint.

Persing twice threatened a flight attendant who told the couple to stop and refused to serve them alcohol, prosecutors said. The FBI met the couple when the plane landed in Raleigh.

Persing, 41, will probably serve jail time for the federal felony conviction, Assistant U.S. Attorney John Bowler said. He was convicted after a three-day trial in U.S. District Court in Wilmington.

Defense attorney Deb Newton said her client will appeal.

"He's devastated," Newton said, adding that he was defending his right to be left alone.

Charges against girlfriend Dawn Elizabeth Sewell, who was accused of assisting Persing, were dropped this week. *