Tags: nasa | nowak

Ex-Astronaut Planning Insanity Defense

Tuesday, 28 Aug 2007 10:05 PM

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

ORLANDO -- Former astronaut Lisa Nowak is pursuing a temporary insanity defense on charges that she assaulted and tried to kidnap a romantic rival, according to a court document released Tuesday.

Nowak suffered from major depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, insomnia and "brief psychotic disorder with marked stressors," defense attorney Donald Lykkebak wrote in his notice of intent to rely on the insanity defense.

He also noted that the already petite Nowak recently lost 15 percent of her body weight and struggled with "marital separation."

"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," Lykkebak said in a separate public statement.

Nowak, 44, was arrested in February after confronting Colleen Shipman, the girlfriend of a former space shuttle pilot Nowak had been seeing. The former astronaut allegedly stalked Shipman at the Orlando airport, then attacked her as Shipman arrived at her car.

Police say the married mother of three had driven nearly 1,000 miles from Houston to Orlando, using diapers to avoid taking breaks, and then pepper-sprayed Shipman while trying to get into her vehicle. Shipman was able to drive away, and Nowak was arrested. Police said she had a duffel bag with her that contained a steel mallet, 4-inch knife and a BB gun.

Nowak was charged with attempted kidnapping, battery and burglary with assault and has pleaded not guilty.

She told police said she just wanted to talk to Shipman to find out "where she stands" in the love triangle. She was dismissed from the astronaut corps a month after her arrest and has a trial set for September.

At a Florida court hearing on defense motions Friday, Nowak apologized to Shipman.

She also asked to have her electronic monitoring bracelet removed, and her attorney asked the judge to toss out her police interview and evidence from a search of her car. Circuit Judge Marc L. Lubet did not immediately issue a ruling, saying he wanted to hear more from both sides.

"The past six months have been very difficult for me, my family and others close to me," Nowak, a Navy captain and pilot, told a crowd of reporters outside the courtroom. "I know that it must have also 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."

The police officer who had interviewed Nowak testified Friday that it was the hardest of his career. Detective Chris Becton described a "chess game" in which he and Nowak bartered for details and he felt like the interview subject.

Shipman told the judge she was still scared of Nowak. Nowak is barred from Brevard County, where Shipman lives in Florida, and she must file notice to visit the rest of the state.

Kepler Funk, an attorney for Shipman, said Tuesday that the defense discussed the notice with prosecutors before the hearing, and that it should have been brought up in court. Funk said the medical conditions mentioned in the filing strengthened his argument that Nowak's ankle bracelet should stay.

"It is troubling that these conditions were not discussed in open court on Aug. 24, 2007, when the court was tasked with determining whether it is appropriate to remove Ms. Nowak's ankle monitor," Funk said.

Two Texas psychiatrists will testify to Nowak's condition at the time of the alleged attack, Lykkebak wrote in the court filing. Under Florida law, a defendant pleading insanity must prove he or she did not understand their actions or the consequences, or didn't know they were doing anything wrong.

Circuit Court Judge Marc L. Lubet unsealed the notice of intent to rely on the insanity defense on Tuesday. Florida law requires such a notice before trial to let prosecutors prepare.

Danielle Tavernier, a spokeswoman for the state attorney's office, said prosecutors would address the issue in court and declined to elaborate.

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Ex-Adviser Sayfie: Jeb Bush Would Be 'Great President'

Monday, 20 Oct 2014 17:17 PM

Will former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush run for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination or won't he? Even one of his most  . . .

Pentagon Uncertain If Airstrikes Crippled Khorasan Group

Monday, 20 Oct 2014 16:49 PM

It remains unclear whether a series of targeted airstrikes have been successful in knocking out the small but fierce Kho . . .

Michael Barone: GOP in November Driver's Seat, but No Shoo-in

Monday, 20 Oct 2014 16:47 PM

Republicans look good two weeks before the midterm elections , but their retaking of the Senate is still not a sure thin . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved