Florida Judge Reverses Move to Seal Papers in Arrested Astronaut's Case

Hearing in Lisa Nowak Case Delayed
NASA astronaut Lisa Marie Nowak, 43, was arrested Monday, Feb. 5, 2007, for attempting to kidnap a woman she believed was romantically involved with another astronaut she was in love with, police said.
(Image: © AP Photo/Orange County Sheriff's Department)

Judge Marc Lubet said the only exception would be psychologicalevaluations or notices of an insanity defense.

"I further consideredmy position and decided that everything should be released except the psychologicalreports," Lubet told the Orlando Sentinelnewspaper. "The state can send out whatever they want."

Nowak is accused oftrying to kidnap a rival for a space shuttle pilot's affections, and thecase has drawn international attention.

Lubet said he was "just trying tokeep the media frenzy down to a dull roar.''

He issued a writtenstatement Thursday evening, reversing a temporary, verbal order he had issuedhours before to stop the local state attorney's office from releasing anydocuments sought under Florida'sopen records law.

Nowak was fired from NASAabout a month after her Feb. 5 arrest. Police say she drove from Houston toFlorida to confront Air Force Capt. Colleen Shipman in an Orlando airportparking lot and then pepper-sprayed her. Shipman, who was dating astronaut BillOefelein, was able to get away.

Police reported finding aBB gun, steel mallet, knife and rubber tubing in Nowak's car.

Nowak, 43, a married motherof three, has pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted kidnapping, burglarywith assault and battery. She is free on bail but did not attend the hearingThursday.

Some documents in the casewere due for public release under state law as early as this week, prosecutorstold the judge. Defense attorney Donald Lykkebak,however, said the release of some of those documents, such as the searchwarrant papers for Nowak's car, would violate her privacy.

Some private records werealready released last month. Several hundred pages of documents, includingpolice statements and e-mails between Oefelein andShipman, were released by prosecutors, confirming publicly for the first timethat Oefelein had a romantic relationship with Nowak.

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