Evidence Against Former Astronaut Tossed

Friday, 02 Nov 2007 08:41 PM

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

ORLANDO, Fla. -- A judge agreed Friday to toss much of the evidence against Nowak, a former astronaut accused of making a diaper-assisted, 1,000-mile drive to confront a woman vying for the affections of the same space shuttle pilot.

Investigators took advantage of 44-year-old Lisa Nowak, who had not slept for more than 24 hours, coercing her into giving information in a lengthy arrest interview, Orange County Circuit Judge Marc L. Lubet said.

Lubet granted a defense motion to throw out comments she made during the six-hour interview and items seized during a search of her BMW, including maps to alleged victim Colleen Shipman's home, large garbage bags, latex gloves and some soiled toddler-sized diapers.

Nowak's defense steadfastly denies she ever wore or soiled them to avoid stopping during her drive from Houston, but a detective said Nowak told him she had.

Nowak was arrested in February after allegedly confronting Shipman, the girlfriend of former space shuttle pilot Bill Oefelein. Authorities say Nowak stalked Shipman at the Orlando airport and tried to get into her car, then attacked her with pepper spray. Shipman was able to drive away.

The ruling was a big win for the defense. But evidence from a duffel bag Nowak was carrying — a steel mallet, buck knife, BB gun resembling a real 9mm handgun, gloves and six feet of rubber tubing — remains in the case.

Prosecutors did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the order entered late Friday.

Defense attorney Donald Lykkebak said he was "extremely pleased and gratified" by the ruling.

Nowak is charged with attempted kidnapping, battery and burglary with assault. She has pleaded not guilty, though her attorney has filed notice of intent to use an insanity defense.

In pretrial testimony, Nowak said she never consented to the car search, and felt strong-armed into talking with officers because they mentioned carjacking charges.

Orlando police Detective Chris Becton had testified that Nowak was hardly the sleep-deprived, confused suspect she purported to be. He characterized Nowak as a cunning suspect who bargained with information in an interview similar to a "chess match."

The judge ruled Becton had been evasive when Nowak asked about an attorney, and hadn't read her Miranda rights before he started questioning.

Lubet said Becton wrongly made "direct and implied promises of benefit," vowing to talk to prosecutors on her behalf if she cooperated.

"He made threats and used coercive psychological techniques," Lubet wrote.

© 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

Bill Clinton: World's Borders More 'Like Nets Than Walls'

Friday, 19 Sep 2014 06:14 AM

Power is more diffuse in a technologically advanced world, and that means inclusiveness is the only way to battle the wo . . .

Report: Washington Full of Cell Phone Spying Devices

Thursday, 18 Sep 2014 22:12 PM

The Washington, D.C., area is littered with devices that spy on users' cellphones, and one expert thinks they were plant . . .

Man Kills Daughter, Six Grandchildren in Murder-Suicide

Thursday, 18 Sep 2014 21:43 PM

A 51-year-old Florida man shot dead his daughter and six grandchildren in his home before killing himself on Thursday, a . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

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