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US Astronaut charged with attempted murder

US Astronaut charged with attempted murder

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9.FEB.07

ORLANDO, Florida (CNN) – Astronaut Lisa Nowak Tuesday was ordered released on an additional $10,000 bond for an attempted murder charge involving a romantic rival.

Nowak, 43, had earlier posted a $15,500 bond on charges of attempted kidnapping, battery and attempted burglary of a car with battery. But, her release was halted as Orlando Police brought the attempted murder charge.{{more}}

As a condition of her release, Nowak was ordered to wear a global positioning satellite device, known as a GPS.

Nowak, a Navy Captain, is accused of accosting Air Force Capt. Colleen Shipman, 30, in the parking lot of Orlando International Airport early Monday and spraying her with pepper spray. She told police she only wanted to talk with Shipman.

Nowak, a Navy captain, and Shipman were both “in a relationship” with Navy Cmdr. Bill Oefelein, another astronaut, according to a police report of the incident.

Nowak told police her relationship with Oefelein was “more than a working relationship and less than a romantic relationship.”

Shipman has filed for a restraining order on Nowak in Brevard County, where Shipman lives and works, according to a copy of the order on Brevard County’s Web site.

In the paperwork for the order, Shipman said that Nowak had been stalking her for the past two months. The hearing for the order is scheduled for February 20.

Nowak, a married mother of three, made both her court appearances shackled and wearing a dark-coloured jumpsuit. In the afternoon session, for the attempted murder charge, she kept her eyes straight ahead.

Nowak’s supervisor at the Johnson Space Centre in Houston, retired Air Force Col. Steve Lindsey, who was also the commander of Nowak’s shuttle flight last year – assured the judge that Nowak would not have contact with Shipman or have any need to travel to Patrick Air Force Base, where Shipman works, or nearby Kennedy Space Centre.

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