Newscaster: A space shuttle commander finding himself in the middle of an earthly love triangle, as the police arrest a shuttle specialist for allegedly attacking a woman she believed to be a romantic rival. Captain Lisa Nowak, a married mother of three, is facing serious charges including attempting kidnapping following a confrontation with Colleen Shipman, a former air force captain. Nowak flew to the International Space Station last July on the Shuttle Discovery. She appeared in court looking like that yesterday in Florida. Sorry this morning, Police say she drove nine hundred miles from Texas to confront Shipman.
Newscaster: Joining us now is Defense Attorney Tad Nelson. He is a former prosecutor from Texas. Thanks for being with us.
Tad: Thank you.
Newscaster: I will tell you as you can tell from my speaking. The whole case just has me floored. Um, you’ve got somebody who is clearly well educated, has a great job, seemingly normal, and then all of a sudden puts on diapers, and drives nine hundred miles to confront a woman she says because she wanted to talk. How serious are these charges?
Tad: Oh, there extremely serious. This is a sad case and if it wasn’t so sad it would be comical. Almost sounds like a joke, but the allegation is so serious because of the kidnapping and then when you take the fact that she had tubing which obviously was to tie this person up. She had a knife and a gun. And that makes it aggravated and that makes it where the bottom line is she could look at some pretty serious problems here.
Newscaster: Ok. She got a slue of weird stuff with her. She got the tubing, she got the tape, she got the garbage bags, a wig, all that stuff, but she didn’t use them. Apparently,she followed this woman to a parking lot at the airport had on a disguise. Got her to role her window down and then pepper sprayed her. That’s
Newscaster: Ok. If she hasn’t used this other stuff, can it be used against her?
Tad: Absolutely. It’s almost like making an analogy to a bank robbery. If you go in with a gun and fortunately don’t kill anybody you can’t say well he didn’t use the gun. She had all of these things to use. She brought the tubing, which obviously was to tie this person up. She brought the gun, which was obviously to intimidate her or scare her. And lord knows what she was going to do with the knife. Absolutely they can use it.
Newscaster: Well now, she says that she simply wanted to scare Shipman into talking about her relationship with this other Shuttle Commander, Mr. Ofoline, and that she didnot want to harm her physically. Do you have to prove that she drove there to do thatspecifically, harm her physically?
Tad: Well, if her goal was to scare her. Mission accomplished. But the second thing is, I think the proof is with what she did. The reality of it is she went down there with weapons, with a gun, with a knife, with tubing. Clearly, the fact that she drove nine hundred miles, if this was a rational thought, after driving for about fourteen to sixteen hours, you would probably think well maybe I shouldn’t go through with this.
Tad: But she had a goal. And there was little doubt what she was going to do once she accomplished her goal