Wed, Nov 11, 2009
Lighter Penalties Assessed As Evidence Was Thrown Out
Former astronaut Lisa Nowak, who had faced charges of
attempted kidnapping, burglary, and battery, pleaded guilty Tuesday
to lesser charges of felony burglary of a car and a battery
misdemeanor in an agreement reached with prosecutors.
Nowak had allegedly driven from Houston, Texas to Orlando,
Florida in February of 2007 to confront Air Force Captain Colleen
Shipman. Both Nowak and Shipman were reportedly seeing the same
man, fellow astronaut Cmdr. William A. Oefelein. Nowak said she
wanted to "scare" Shipman into speaking with her about the
Nowak faced Shipman in court and apologized. Shipman had said
she was afraid Nowak was going to kill her.
The New York Times reports that much of the evidence that was
found in Nowak's car was thrown out over the course of the trial,
including the infamous diapers that were the focus of so many
late-night television jokes. Nowak's attorney told the Times that
the diapers were the “biggest lie in this preposterous
tale.” He said if there were diapers in the car, they
were left over from Shipman's family's evacuation from hurricane
Nowak, who had flown on Discovery on a mission to ISS, and
Oefelein were both dropped from the astronaut corps in 2007.
Sentencing for Nowak has not been set.
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