Ex-Astronaut Pleads to Lesser Crimes, Sentenced to Probation

Astronaut Lisa Nowak pleaded guilty to reduced charges today and was sentenced to two days in jail, already served, and a year probation.

Before a packed courtroom 1:30 p.m., Lisa Marie Nowak, 46, pleaded guilty to counts of third-degree burglary of a conveyance and misdemeanor battery. She was originally charged with more-serious counts of attempted kidnapping and burglary with assault in addition to misdemeanor battery. Prosecutors dropped a count of attempted kidnapping.

It looks like the Judge withheld adjudication, which means she won't permanently have a felony conviction provided she successfully completes her probation. Why the great deal? Perhaps because the defense successfully moved to suppress the search of her car and her statements. And no, she wasn't intending to wear the diapers. [More...]

[Defense attorney] Mr. Lykkebak also vehemently criticized the police and the news media for their discussion of the diapers, calling it the “biggest lie in this preposterous tale.” Any diapers in the car, he said, were left over from her family’s evacuation from Houston for Hurricane Rita in 2005.

Another problem for the prosecution:

Last month, Mr. Lykkebak filed papers in the case that focused on a report from emergency medical technicians on the night of the confrontation, in which Captain Shipman declined medical treatment for exposure to pepper spray and “denied direct contact” with the spray before being questioned by police. Mr. Lykkebak argued in court filings that this report undercut Captain Shipman’s contention to police that she had been doused with the spray and injured.

Air Force captain, Colleen Shipman, the female victim, and and ex-astronaut and Navy Cmdr. William A. Oefelein, who was seeing both women, are now engaged and living in Alaska. Both have retired from the military. (Oefelein and Nowak were both dropped from the Astronauts Corps.)

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  • Display: Sort:
    FL does not report such a sentence (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 03:08:22 PM EST
    to FBI for purposes of criminal history as a felony conviction.  Case in point:  FL schoolteacher is convicted of child molestation.  CA school district hires him and he gets a temporary certification.  No record reported of previous conviction of child molestation.  He re-offends.  Bad scene.

    I don't have much to say (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 04:05:37 PM EST
    except that nobody ever needed to internalize the books 'Women Who Love Too Much' and 'Smart Women Foolish Choices' more that I know of :)  You were an astronaut, if you had your heart set on a Commander just stand there for a bit and an available one you won't even have to fight over will be along shortly. And he'll probably even be better in bed than the guy who is over extended. Sheesh!

    Have you been reading (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by Zorba on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 04:22:43 PM EST
    Tom Wolfe's "The Right Stuff" lately?  ;-)