Former Astronaut Pleads Not Guilty In Alleged Kidnapping Attempt Of Romantic Rival

Thursday, March 22nd 2007, 11:21 am
By: News On 6

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) _ Former astronaut Lisa Nowak's attorneys formally entered a not guilty plea Thursday to charges that she tried to kidnap a rival for a space shuttle pilot's affections.

Navy Capt. Lisa Nowak, a 43-year-old mother of three, did not appear at the brief arraignment. Her lawyers had already entered a written not guilty plea.

Nowak was arrested Feb. 5 after police say she drove from Houston to Florida to confront Air Force Capt. Colleen Shipman in an Orlando airport parking lot and then pepper-sprayed her. Shipman, who was dating astronaut Bill Oefelein, was able to get away.

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

Nowak's trial is scheduled to begin July 30 on charges of attempted kidnapping, burglary with assault and battery.

NASA fired her about a month after her arrest, and the Navy said she would be transferred to the Corpus Christi, Texas, command. She is free on bail.