Court Papers List Several Mental Health Disorders
Former National Aeronautics and
Space Administration astronaut and Navy Captain Lisa Nowak and her
legal defense team have filed notice with the court a temporary
insanity defense could be presented, when her trial begins in
September on charges of attempted kidnapping to intent to inflict
bodily harm, with burglary with a weapon and battery.
As ANN reported, Nowak was
arrested in Orlando, FL in February on charges of attempted
kidnapping, attempted vehicle burglary with battery, destruction of
evidence and battery.
Nowak, a married mother of three, allegedly drove 900 miles from
Houston to Orlando to confront Colleen Shipman whom she believed a
rival for the affections of fellow astronaut Navy Commander William
Oefelein. Nowak and Oefelein trained together as first-time shuttle
fliers last year, but flew separate missions.
Both have been dismissed from NASA.
The sealed notice was filed in the Orange County Circuit Court
Monday and unsealed Tuesday, according to CNN.
The notice listed several metal health diagnoses in support of
the defense strategy including depression, obsessive-compulsive
disorder, insomnia and a brief psychotic disorder. She is said to
have lost 15 percent of her body weight just before her arrest from
suffering from these disorders.
Compounding these disorders, court papers say, was family and
marital problems, lack of support and problems forming
Nowak has said she only wanted to scare Shipman and denied any
intent to harm her.
"The past six months have been very difficult for me, my family
and others close to me," Nowak said last week.
"I know that it also must have been very hard for Colleen
Shipman, and I would like her to know how very sorry I am about
having frightened her in any way and about the subsequent public
harassment that has besieged all of us," she said.
Dr. Richard Pesikoff and Dr. George S. Leventon, two
psychiatrists from Texas, are scheduled to testify for the defense
according to court papers.
If convicted, Nowak faces a potential sentence of life in
Last July she flew aboard the Discovery on STS-114, NASA's
second return-to-flight mission following the loss of the shuttle
Columbia. Nowak was responsible for operating the remote arm as the
crew performed several EVAs to complete assembly and maintenance
work on the ISS.