Monday, February 19, 2007


(29 July 2011)
A former astronaut banished from NASA after she confronted a romantic rival in a bizarre episode is being kicked out of the Navy, officials said Thursday.

Capt. Lisa Nowak will retire with an "other than honorable" discharge and her pay grade will be knocked down one rank, Assistant Secretary of Navy Juan Garcia said in a statement.

Nowak's conduct "fell well short" of what is expected of Navy officers and she "demonstrated a complete disregard for the well-being of a fellow service member," Garcia said.
Nowak was accused of confronting Colleen Shipman in the parking lot of the Orlando International Airport in February 2007 after driving from Houston.

Nowak had diapers in the car, but Nowak disputed she wore the diapers. Shipman, an Air Force captain, had begun dating Nowak's love interest, former space shuttle pilot Bill Oefelein.

Police say Nowak sprayed pepper spray into Shipman's car. Nowak's attorney says the pepper spray never reached Shipman.

Nowak was sentenced in 2009 to a year of probation in the altercation after pleading guilty to burglary charges.

Since her dismissal from the astronaut corps, Nowak has been working at the Chief of Naval Air Training station in Corpus Christi, Texas. She will be demoted to commander when her retirement takes effect Sept. 1.

The "other than honorable" discharge may affect veterans' benefits for Nowak, who has been in the Navy for 20 years. A call to her cell phone was not returned.

The decision by the Navy came after a board of inquiry heard testimony last year.

Following the arrest of a senior female astronaut in Orlando, Fla., involved in a bizarre love triangle with two other astronauts, NASA has revealed that it has drawn up contingency plans for dealing with a psychotic astronaut in outer space.
Captain Lisa Nowak, a 43-year-old Navy captain (0-6)who flew last summer on the space shuttle Discovery, was arrested early Monday February 5, 2007 on suspicion of attempted kidnapping, attempted burglary on a vehicle and assault.
The contingency plans call for forceful restraint without lethal force. Crewmates are instructed to subdue and bind the psychotic astronaut's wrists and ankles with duct tape, and a bungee cord. Tranquilizers are to be injected if necessary. There are no written guidelines beyond that.
NASA spokesman James Hartsfield said that the comander in space would decide whether to send the unhinged astronaut back to earth after consulting with a flight surgeon on the ground. There are no weapons on the International Space Station. A bullet from a gun fired at the station would kill everyone. The Emergency Restraint procedures at the International Space are identical to those that NASA has for the shuttle.
The existence of these plans came to light after Lisa Marie Nowak was arrested on charges that she tried to kidnap and kill Colleen Shipman, her rival, for the affections of William Oefelein. Captain Lisa Nowak is a former test pilot. She was arrested at Orlando International Airport after driving nearly 1,000 miles from her home in Houston, where she lives with her husband and three children. She wanted to confront Captain Colleen Shipman, an Air Force captain (0-3) stationed at Patrick Air Force Base south of Kennedy Space Center, Orlando police said.
Captain Nowak drove almost 1,000 miles wearing astronaut pampers as underwear so that she would not have to stop and use the toilette. She was in a hurry, and time was of the essence.
According to police, Captain Nowak, wearing a wig, followed Captain Shipman, 30, to her car, and then doused her with pepper spray. Nowak was unable to get into the car and Shipman drove off and reported the crime at a toll booth to the airline terminal parking lot.
Nowak told police she did not intend to harm Shipman. She only wanted to frighten her into talking about their mutual relationship with Navy Cmmander William Oefelein (0-5), a 41-year-old astronaut who piloted Discovery on its December mission to the space station.

Nowak denied a romantic involvement with Oefelein, but characterized their relations as warmer than a working relationship.
Police said they found a love letter to Oefelein and e-mails to and from Oefelein and Shipman in Nowak's car.
Captain Nowak had not only worn a disguise but also parked her car miles from the airport. In a black duffel bag, she carried a 4-inch knife, a steel mallet, pepper spray, rubber tubing and garbage bags, along with a BB gun.
Florida police filed attempted first degree murder charges against the shuttle astronaut, Captain Lisa Nowak , saying she intended to kidnap and kill her rival, Captain Colleen Shipman, in a love triangle involving Commander William Oefelein, another astronaut.
A new charge was filed after a morning bail hearing in which Orange County Judge Mike Murphy allowed her to post bail on charges that she assaulted and attempted to kidnap Air Force Capt. Colleen Shipman. Nowak was re-arrested after posting the $15,500 bond.

Prosecutor Amanda Cowan argued in a second hearing later in the day that Nowak should be denied bail on the new charge. The judge rejected that argument, deciding to raise Nowak's bond to $25,500. He also ordered that she be fitted with a GPS monitoring device that will warn Shipman if she enters the state of Florida.
James Hartsfield, a NASA spokesman at Johnson Space Center in Houston, said that this was the first case he was aware of in which an active-duty astronaut had been charged with a felony.
You don’t normally expect a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) astronaut, captain in the United States Navy, college graduate, and Roman Catholic to fall so hard, so fast. But then again, you also would never suspect an American President to have sex with an intern, a National Basketball Association star to rape a mistress, or a Hall of Fame football player to commit a double murder. Or perhaps, because of the way American society has developed over the last few generations, these types of events are no surprise anymore.
What happened to this senior female officer, a Navy Captain? . She wanted to kill the woman who her quasi-boyfriend was possibly cheating with. She is (or was) a brilliant woman. Her academic history, her experience with the Navy, and her time with NASA show that she was no less than a true success story. She was well liked amongst her friends, colleagues, church members, and industry peers. Yes, she was divorced, but she had been happily (or seemingly happily) married for nearly twenty years and she and her former husband had three beautiful children together.
For Captain Nowak to consider murdering a relationship rival seems inconceivable. Or does it? Fame and fortune have brought many people to their knees. Whether it’s the power these fallen stars felt entitled, or it was merely their giant egos, we do not know. But we see it over and over again from the rich and famous; drug use, weapon charges, suspected murders, sexual affairs, public fights, drunk driving, and much more. You name the crime or criminal behavior, and there is no doubt that one of America’s icons, and lately senior military officers, has been involved in the misdeed. Nowak is simply the latest case of someone falling from the pedestal that we place them on.
Ever since space travel has begun, we have treated America’s astronauts like heroes. Perhaps the star treatment, enormous expectations, and constant scrutiny, was more than she could handle. Although nobody knows exactly what prompted Captain Nowak to drive 1,000 miles wearing diapers (so she wouldn’t have to use the toilette) stalking a potential victim, many experts say the same traits that make astronauts such high achievers can combine to aggravate emotional problems and strained relationships.

"I really believe that NASA goes overboard in promoting how heroic and super all these people are. They themselves have forgotten these are ordinary people and in that kind of celebrity culture, there's a sense of entitlement." said Dr. Patricia Santy, a former NASA psychiatrist and author of the book “Choosing the Right Stuff”.

Lisa Nowak had been scheduled to be a Mission Control communicator who talks with the six crew members of space shuttle Atlantis during their journey to the international space station. I'm quite confident there will be no impact to our mission," commander Rick Sturckow said at a news conference in Houston. "We've just been focused on our training, which is pretty intensive at this point."

NASA relieved her of all mission duties after she was arrested last week in Orlando on charges that she tried to harm Colleen Shipman, a Navy captain and the woman she viewed as a rival for the affections of astronaut Bill Oefelein.
Shipman withdrew a request for a restraining order against Nowak on Thursday because the astronaut must wear an ankle monitor and is prohibited from making contact with Shipman under the terms of her release. The Navy also has issued an order prohibiting her from having contact with Shipman.
The Atlantis crew has been training with another communicator. They are scheduled to launch March 15 on a mission to continue construction on the international space station.
Captain Lisa Nowak was fired from NASA on Wednesday, 7 March, a month after she was charged with trying to kidnap the woman she regarded as her romantic rival for the affections of a space shuttle pilot.
Nowak's dismissal did not reflect the space agency's belief in her guilt or innocence, NASA officials said. The agency said it lacked an administrative system to handle the allegations because Nowak is a senior naval officer on assignment to NASA, rather than a NASA civil servant.
If Captain Nowak were a civil servant, NASA would have the choice of placing her on administrative leave, leave without pay or indefinite suspension until the charges are resolved, said NASA spokesman James Hartsfield in Houston. But because she is an officer, those options are not available.
Nowak, a Navy captain, instead will return to the military. She received a commission from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1985 and joined the astronaut corps in 1996. She flew on her first and only space shuttle mission last July during Discovery's 13-day trip to the international space station.
She will be assigned to the staff at the Chief of Naval Air Training in Corpus Christi, Texas, starting in two weeks, Navy Cmdr. Lydia Robertson said. Robertson said she didn't know what specific job Nowak would be doing.
The space shuttle pilot who was the object of Nowak's affections, Navy Cmdr. Bill Oefelein, remains on active duty while working for NASA. Robertson said she could not speculate whether his status is under review.
Chief astronaut Steve Lindsey notified Nowak late last month that she was to be fired from the astronaut corps. After her arrest, NASA placed Nowak on a 30-day leave, which was to end Thursday.
It was the first time NASA has publicly fired an astronaut, according to space historian Roger Launius of the Smithsonian Institution. She is also the first active astronaut to be charged with a felony, he said.

Fallen senior officers like Captain Nowak are becoming more and more common in America. Maybe it’s the media, maybe it’s the culture, maybe it’s the family, and maybe it’s the genes. But whatever the reason, criminal behavior from America’s pop cultural icon and senior military officers is a major problem. Infamous crime is more problematic than general crime, because it garners so much attention. Much of this attention comes in the form of flattery and support, which can be misconstrued as a positive response to an atrocious action. Moreover, whether they get Non-judicial punishment at an Admiral's mast, suspension of a token fined, or a Punitive Letter of Reprimand, the punishment for these senior officers rarely fits the crime.
This again brings to mind the cases of the deaths of Lt. Jessica Hill and BM2 Steve Dudue and the three senior officers who literally got away with murder. Is Vice Admiral Charles Wurster, Pacific Area Commander correct when he says that the three senior officers assigned to the Coast Guard icebreaker CGC Healy during the fatal diving incident in the Arctic last year that resulted in the deaths of Lt. Jessica Hill and BM2 Steve Duque deserved nonjudicial punishment rather than facing criminal charges at a court-martial?
Admiral Wurster said that he took action to hold CGC HEALY's Commanding Officer, Executive Officer and Operations Officer accountable for failing to meet their personal responsibilities surrounding that mishap. He held a mast for the CO, XO, and the Ops Officer from the CGC Healy on January 14, the day before the Coast Guard released the Final Report of an investigation into the death of Lt. Hill, 31, and Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class Duque. He found the three — the commanding, executive and operations officers — guilty of dereliction of duty.
Captain Doug Russell, the CO, was relieved of command shortly after the accident. On January 14, his sentence was to receive a punitive letter of reprimand and a fine equal to one month’s pay.Commander Jeffrey Jackson, the XO, was sentenced to receive a punitive letter of admonition. The Operations Officer Lt. Cmmander. James Dalitsch was sentenced to receive a punitive letter of reprimand and a fine.All fines were suspended. The Admiral went through the motions, then he nullified it all. It was bad enough that he chose the lowest criminal forum available to punish these officers for their parts in the deaths of Lt. Hill and BM2 Duque, but he had the bad judgement to take back the token punishment.
I believe that NJP was adequate,” Wurster said. “They took full responsibility.” This Admiral's Mast conducted behind closed doors the day before a report of the facts was released to the public is an outrage.
Cadets and junior officers are subjected to one standard of justice; and, senior officers and celebrities are subjected to another.

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Peter Pace has a difference of opinion from senior Coast Guard leadership. The Department of Defense interprets the Uniform Code of Military Justice more strictly than does their cousins in the Department of Homeland Security. And, they appear to apply it more uniformly up and down the chain of command.
General Peter Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, a native of New York City, and a 1967 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, said in an interview that his views on homosexuals in the military and the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Policy are based on his upbringing.
"As an individual, I would not want (acceptance of homosexual behavior) to be our policy, just like I would not want it to be our policy that if we were to find out that so-and-so was sleeping with somebody else's wife, that we would just look the other way, which we do not. We prosecute that kind of immoral behavior," he said, according to the audio and a transcript released by his staff.



Blogger ichbinalj said...


When women do go on violent rampages, I want them held responsible for their actions and punished the same way men are.
It would have been easy for pundits and sensation-loving journalists to paint Nowak's situation as an example of why women crack under the pressure of being astronauts. But you know why they couldn't do that? Because there are too many female astronauts, such as Eileen Collins and Bonnie Dunbar, who didn't crack and are leading perfectly normal lives.
The entire situation is reported exactly the way it would have been if she'd been a famous man who lost it. I like living in a world where we explain women's sensational crimes in the context of their careers rather than their gender or their families.
The other thing that makes me happy about the Nowak case is that it confirms something I've always known to be true: women can be as physically dangerous as men. In courtrooms and pop culture, women have traditionally been viewed as essentially passive, capable of violence only under extraordinary circumstances. As a result, women have often gotten lighter sentences than men for everything from murder to battery. Ann Jones's sociological study Women Who Kill is in large part a chronicle of how judges have refused to convict women of murdering their children because the ladies are considered victims of postpartum depression. (Men under similar circumstances are given harsh penalties for filicide.)
In a twisted way, the public reaction to Nowak's assault on Shipman — the fact that she was accused of attempted murder and that her violence was taken seriously — is heartening. Nobody is framing this incident as a catfight; nobody is saying Nowak is innocent because she was going through menopause or something absurd like that. She is being treated like the dangerous and potentially homicidal person that she is. Nobody is fishing around for a way to let her off the hook because she's a chick.
I like living in a world where women are dangerous. Even better, I like living in a world where people acknowledge that women are dangerous, so they're less likely to mess with us. By the same token, when women do go on violent rampages, I want them held responsible for their actions and punished the same way men are. That's not p.c. equality. That's the real thing.

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6:13 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Lisa Nowak had been scheduled to be a Mission Control communicator who talks with the six crew members of space shuttle Atlantis during their journey to the international space station. I'm quite confident there will be no impact to our mission," commander Rick Sturckow said at a news conference in Houston. "We've just been focused on our training, which is pretty intensive at this point."
The Atlantis crew has been training with another communicator. They are scheduled to launch March 15 on a mission to continue construction on the international space station.
Atlantis' flight will be the first space shuttle mission of the year. The crew will deliver a new segment and a pair of solar arrays that will be used to power the space station. They also will retract an old pair of solar arrays and perform at least three spacewalks.
NASA is hoping to launch as many as five shuttle missions this year, its most ambitious schedule since 2002.

6:14 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

NASA Revokes Status of Nowak, Astronaut Accused of Kidnap Plot

March 7 (Bloomberg) -- NASA said it is revoking the astronaut status of Lisa Nowak, who is accused of trying to kidnap a romantic rival, because the agency doesn't have the means to deal with the criminal charges against her.

Nowak, 43, a captain in the U.S. Navy, was selected as an astronaut in 1996 and flew one space shuttle mission last year, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration said in a statement.

Nowak was arrested Feb. 5 at Orlando International Airport in Florida and accused of pepper-spraying and trying to kidnap Colleen Shipman, a perceived rival for the affection of shuttle astronaut Bill Oefelein. Nowak and Oefelein worked in the same NASA office in Houston but never flew a mission together.

Nowak was charged last week with attempted kidnapping with intent to cause bodily harm and pleaded not guilty. Charges of attempted murder, burglary with a weapon and battery filed against her after her arrest were dropped.

Cari Brunelle, a spokeswoman for Nowak's attorney, Don Lykkebak, didn't immediately return a voice-mail message left by Bloomberg News seeking further comment.

Chris Dolmetsch at .

12:47 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Documents Reveal Astronaut Romance
Associated Press | March 07, 2007
ORLANDO, Fla. - Astronaut Bill Oefelein was in orbit aboard the space shuttle in December when he was sent a steamy e-mail from a girlfriend awaiting his return: "First urge will be to rip your clothes off, throw you on the ground and love the hell out of you."

Fellow astronaut Lisa Nowak apparently discovered that e-mail - and some other romantic messages to Oefelein - before she set off on her bizarre, 900-mile road-trip to confront her rival for Oefelein's affections.

The e-mail was among several hundred pages of documents released this week by prosecutors in the case against Nowak, who is charged with trying to kidnap the e-mail's author, Colleen Shipman.

The e-mails, along with statements taken from Oefelein and Shipman, confirm publicly for the first time that Oefelein had a romantic relationship with Nowak. It lasted two or three years before he broke it off to date Shipman late last year.

Oefelein said he considered Nowak to be one of his best friends at NASA.

"We had a relationship but, you know, never really said the word `girlfriend,'" Oefelein told investigators. "We were somewhat exclusive. Nobody prohibited anything, but I would consider her exclusive for a period of time."

Oefelein met Shipman while training in Florida several weeks before his December launch aboard shuttle Discovery. The e-mailed each other regularly, including while he was in space, though Oefelein opened the e-mail expressing Shipman's desire to rip his clothes off only after he had returned to Earth in December.

In another e-mail sent in January, Shipman wrote Oefelein at his NASA e-mail address: "I love you and I am head-over-heels IN love with you." Oefelein responded the next day from his office e-mail: "You must really have me around your finger that I can't even function without you here."

Before every shuttle flight, astronauts give NASA a list of friends and family members who are allowed to send them e-mail during a mission. NASA spokesman James Hartsfield said the agency does not monitor the communications between astronauts in space and their friends and families.

"The whole system is set up to ensure as much privacy as possible," Hartsfield said. "No review. No censorship. No anything."

Detectives said they found the romantic e-mails between Oefelein and Shipman in Nowak's possession when she was arrested Feb. 5 in Orlando.

Oefelein and Shipman told investigators they believe the e-mails were taken from a home computer in his apartment. Nowak had a key to the apartment.

Police say Nowak, a mother of three, drove from Houston to the Orlando airport, wearing an astronaut diaper so that she would not have to stop. She donned a wig, confronted Shipman in her car, and pepper-sprayed her through a partially lowered window. In Nowak's car were a BB gun, new steel mallet, a knife and rubber tubing.

1:01 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Captain Nowak, 43, has pleaded not guilty to attempted kidnapping and burglary with assault. She was released on bail wearing a monitoring device on her ankle. Her lawyer had no comment Tuesday on the documents.

The documents include an undated letter to Oefelein's mother in which Nowak wrote that she was taking steps to divorce her husband so she could be with Oefelein.

"Bill is absolutely the best person I've ever known and I love him more than I knew possible," Nowak wrote. Nowak thanked Oefelein's mother for supporting her relationship with Oefelein, "especially since my parents are not as supportive right now."

Oefelein told investigators that when he broke off his romantic relationship with Nowak in January, she "seemed a little disappointed, but she seemed to be accepting of that."

Oefelein and Nowak still agreed to be gym partners and train for a bicycle race together, he said. Nowak still called Oefelein daily and left friendly messages, he said, but "I wasn't always receptive to the phone call."

The lingering feelings between Oefelein and Nowak worried Shipman. Shipman said she asked Oefelein "point-blank" if his romantic relationship with Nowak was over.

"Because you know how these things go," Shipman told detectives. "I said, `Is there gonna be some crazy lady showing up at my door, trying to kill me?' He said, `No ... she's not like that. She's fine with it. She's happy for me.'"

1:02 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

General Peter Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, a native of New York City, and a 1967 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, said in an interview that his views on homosexuals in the military and the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Policy are based on his upbringing.
"As an individual, I would not want (acceptance of homosexual behavior) to be our policy, just like I would not want it to be our policy that if we were to find out that so-and-so was sleeping with somebody else's wife, that we would just look the other way, which we do not. We prosecute that kind of immoral behavior," he said, according to the audio and a transcript released by his staff.

4:37 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Chuck Colson said:
The Crime of Conviction
General Pace and Morality
Point of View
Published March 15, 2007

Our nation's top military officer, a veteran decorated with no less than forty-eight military awards and a very distinguished career, made a startling revelation this week: He has moral conviction. The world gasps, hurls insults, and demands an apology. How dare one of the top leaders of our land have a moral belief and share it when questioned!

But that's exactly what happened this week when the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff—the first Marine general ever to hold that position—General Peter Pace, commented in a wide-ranging interview with the Chicago Tribune, "My upbringing is such that I believe that there are certain things, certain types of conduct that are immoral. I believe that military members who sleep with other military members' wives are immoral in their conduct, and that we should not tolerate that."

But then Pace went on to tell the Tribune, "I believe that homosexual acts between individuals are immoral and that we should not condone immoral acts." Well, stop the presses.

Of course, all that the radio, news, and television outlets have focused on since General Pace's comments are his remarks on homosexuality. Never mind that he puts immorality of all kinds on equal footing. General Pace went on to say in the interview, "I do not believe the United States is well served by a policy that says it is OK to be immoral in any way."

While the world should be applauding a man who proposes that one of the most important institutions in our country should have moral integrity, instead we hammer him for having a conviction.

But I believe this goes far beyond the whole question of homosexuals in the military and the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. This cuts to the core of the question of whether anyone in public office is free to speak his deepest religious or moral convictions. The Constitution says there will be no religious test for office, and yet we are applying one. We are basically saying that if you are the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, you are not allowed to express your moral or religious views—especially on matters of sexual preference and behavior.

This is another sign that we live in an age that no longer believes in objective truth or a moral order. Moral relativism is the rule, and personal preference trumps all. And government is there to ensure that no one place any restraint on the pursuit of our own desires.

I have long said that C. S. Lewis was prophetic when in 1943 he wrote about the irony of our education system, saying, "Such is the tragicomedy of our situation—we continue to clamour for those very qualities we are rendering impossible. . . . In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst."

Ironic that today, the head of our Joint Chiefs of Staff argues that the military should have consistent policies of moral integrity, and the world demands an apology. Maybe it is time to lock him up: General Pace is guilty. He has committed the intolerable crime of our day: He has stated his conviction in a value-free society that respects only so-called "tolerance."

As for me, well, General Pace makes me proud that I am a former Marine.

Copyright (c) 2007 Prison Fellowship. Used with permission.

1:16 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

In ultra-sensitive America, what you say is more important than what you do.
To the modern American media, it is worse to hurt the feelings of homosexual troops than it is to pass legislation that puts all combat troops at risk. They would ask God to apologize to Sodom and Gamorrah.
Sorry, Charlie.

Sodom and Gomorrah were two cities destroyed by God for their sins. For the sins of their inhabitants Sodom, Gomorrah were destroyed by "brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven" Since then, their names are synonymous with impenitent sin. The story of Sodom has given rise to words in several languages, including English: the word "sodomy", meaning acts (stigmatized as "unnatural vice") such as homosexuality and the word "sodomite", meaning one who practices such acts.

11:20 AM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

AP, 21 March 2007
ORLANDO, Fla. - Captain Lisa Nowak, U. S. Navy, a former astronaut could go to trial in late July on charges that she tried to kidnap a woman in what police call a love triangle involving a fellow astronaut, according to state prosecutors.

Captain Nowak's trial could begin July 30, opening a two-week window for the proceedings, said Danielle Tavernier, a spokeswoman for State Attorney Lawson Lamar.

An arraignment was scheduled for Thursday, 22 March, but Captain Nowak is not expected to appear since her attorney has filed a not guilty plea to attempted kidnapping, burglary with assault and battery.

Nowak was arrested in February on suspicion of confronting Captain Colleen Shipman,U. S. Air Force, the girlfriend of astronaut Commander Bill Oefelein,U. S. NAvy, in an Orlando airport parking lot.

Nowak pepper-sprayed Shipman through a partially lowered car window, according to the arrest affidavit. Police said they found a BB gun, steel mallet, knife and rubber tubing in Nowak's possession.

Captain Nowak, a graduate of the Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland, is a 43-year-old mother of three. She is separated from her husband, and was released on bail. NASA released her as an astranaut in March 2007.

2:48 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Friday 24 Aug 2007 Travis Reed of AP reports:
Former astronaut Lisa Nowak, accused of attacking a romantic rival, asked a judge Friday 24 Aug to let her remove her electronic monitoring ankle bracelet, saying that it cuts her ankle and gets in the way of her military boot laces.
Nowak promised to abide by all court orders if the GPS monitoring device is removed, including not having any contact with Air Force Capt. Colleen Shipman, the woman she is accused of pepper spraying in an airport parking lot.
Shipman’s attorney fought the request.
Nowak, a 44-year-old Navy pilot, has pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted kidnapping, battery and burglary with assault.
Nowak had told the detectives that she and Shipman were vying for the affection of the same space shuttle pilot and that she confronted Shipman in an Orlando International Airport parking lot because she wanted to know “where she stands.”
She is accused of attacking Shipman with pepper spray and trying to jump into her vehicle. Police say Nowak also had a duffel bag with a steel mallet, 4-inch knife and a BB gun.
Nowak said it was bulky and painful, and has kept her out of public places fearing its alarm. She said it also interferes with her ability to exercise — a requirement for a Navy officer, and inhibits her ability to drive.
Nowak also said she has to change the batteries every 12-15 hours — at least twice a day. She pays for the bracelet, which costs $105 a week and about $3,000 so far.
Assistant state attorney Pamela Davis suggested Nowak could do other exercises, and has been able to bathe despite the inconvenience.
Nowak said it was bulky and painful, and has kept her out of public places fearing its alarm. She said it also interferes with her ability to exercise — a requirement for a Navy officer, and inhibits her ability to drive.

12:05 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Reuters reports that court papers released on 28 August 2007 say that Lisa Nowak contends she is fit to stand trial. Nonetheless, she reserves the option of mounting a temporary insanity defence should the case proceed to court.

Nowak's defence team will probably be compelled to fall back on her mental state at the time of the carpark unpleasantness.

Captain Nowak states that her psychiatric problems included obsessive compulsive disorder, a "partner relational problem," depressive weight loss of 15 percent of her body mass and a temporary "mixed manic and depressive-like state."

"Even the most naive observer should recognize that Lisa Nowak's behavior on February 5 was uncharacteristic and unpredicted for such an accomplished person with no criminal record or history of violence," according to Nowak's PR.

The defence documents also contend that Nowak suffered from a lack of sympathetic support at the time. This is said to have been connected to the fact that she had separated from her husband and felt unable to confide in her family and "social contacts."

It was reported recently that Nowak was "shocked and overwhelmed" at the media coverage of the case. Fair enough, we say. There's clearly nothing particularly interesting about a nappy-clad, knife and hammer-toting, trenchcoated astronaut mother of three plotting to mace and kidnap a younger rival for the affections of a space shuttle pilot.®

4:29 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Lisa Nowak can remove an electronic monitoring bracelet from her ankle while she awaits trial a judge ruled Thursday 30 August.
Nowak had argued that the bracelet was expensive, bulky, uncomfortable and prevented her from exercising, as required of a military officer. Judge Marc L. Lubet said that those claims did not matter, but that Nowak had behaved well enough over the past seven months to remove the device.
Nowak, a Navy captain, said in a statement: "It's a great relief not to worry about safety issues related to the batteries life while I'm driving. I'm also really looking forward to getting back into my former aerobic fitness programs."
The woman Nowak is accused of attacking had argued to require Nowak to continue wearing the device. Colleen Shipman said she still feared Nowak, who has filed an intent to plead temporary insanity.
Nowak is still prohibited from contacting Shipman or Bill Oefelein, the former shuttle pilot both women dated, Lubet said in the order. Nowak has no reason to travel to Florida, where Shipman lives, other than court, or to Virginia, where Shipman's boyfriend lives, the judge said.
Shipman's attorney, Kepler Funk, condemned the ruling in a public statement Thursday and expressed concern the order didn't address Nowak's mental health.
"Colleen Shipman has already been victimized once by Lisa Nowak, and now it seems she is being further punished for wanting to have a relationship with William Oefelein and try, despite the attack, to lead a normal life free from fear of further violence," Funk said.
"At some points the rights of the victim to feel safe in her own home should be given significant weight. In our opinion, justice requires that Lisa Nowak's aerobic fitness should not override Nowak, 44, was arrested in February after confronting Shipman over a love triangle
Nowak suffered from major depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, insomnia and "brief psychotic disorder with marked stressors," according to the notice to plead insanity written by defense attorney Donald Lykkebak.

12:46 PM  

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