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Archive for Friday, August 31, 2007

Astronaut allowed to remove monitor

August 31, 2007

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— Former astronaut Lisa Nowak can remove an electronic monitoring bracelet from her ankle while she awaits trial on charges she attacked a romantic rival, a judge ruled Thursday.

Nowak, a Navy captain, had argued that the bracelet was expensive, bulky, uncomfortable and prevented her from exercising, as required of a military officer. Judge Marc L. Lubet said that those claims did not matter, but that Nowak had behaved well enough over the past seven months to remove the device.

The woman Nowak is accused of attacking had argued to require Nowak to continue wearing the device. Colleen Shipman said she still feared Nowak, who has filed an intent to plead temporary insanity.

Nowak is still prohibited from contacting Shipman or Bill Oefelein, the former shuttle pilot both women dated, Lubet said in the order. Nowak has no reason to travel to Florida, where Shipman lives, other than court, or to Virginia, where Shipman's boyfriend lives, the judge said.

Nowak is also barred from neighboring Maryland, Delaware and Washington, D.C., without court approval, according to the filing.

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