Friday, June 29, 2007

True case of attention-grabbing headline

On a brief break, I came across this article on

Astronaut's attorney: She did NOT wear diapers

POSTED: 12:39 p.m. EDT, June 29, 2007

ORLANDO, Florida (AP) -- An attorney for a former astronaut wanted to set the record straight Friday: Lisa Nowak didn't wear diapers during the 950-mile road trip to confront a romantic rival.

"The biggest lie in this preposterous tale that has been told is that my client drove from Houston, Texas, to Orlando, Florida, nonstop, wearing a diaper," Donald Lykkebak said after filing motions to suppress evidence in Nowak's criminal case. "That is an absolute fabrication."

The tidbit that Nowak wore diapers during her trip was written in the police report filed after Nowak's arrest in February. The diaper detail became fodder for late-night TV comics and talk radio and even inspired an episode of the NBC show "Law & Order."

There were toddler-size diapers in her car when she was arrested, but they were several years old, Lykkebak said. Nowak and her family had used them when Houston was evacuated in 2005 during Hurricane Rita, he said.

Lykkebak didn't say why he waited until now to dispute the police report.
An Orlando police spokeswoman, Sgt. Barb Jones, said she couldn't comment about the case specifically. She said a court would determine the accuracy of the facts.

Nowak, 44, was charged with attempted kidnapping, battery and burglary with assault in a confrontation at Orlando International Airport with Colleen Shipman, the girlfriend of former astronaut Bill Oefelein. Oefelein told detectives he had a two-year relationship with Nowak but ended it some time after he started a relationship with Shipman.

Nowak has pleaded not guilty and her trial is set for September. She was dismissed from the astronaut corps a month after her arrest.

Oefelein left the astronaut corps at the beginning of June and returned to the Navy.

Lykkebak filed a motion asking a judge to prevent statements that Nowak made to police from being entered into evidence, claiming she had not been properly advised of her constitutional rights.

He also asked that evidence found in her car not be allowed to be introduced in court, saying it was seized without a search warrant. Police officers recovered maps to Shipman's home, large garbage bags, latex gloves and Shipman's flight information.

Now, if that headline didn't grab your attention, I don't know what would. Somehow the story just didn't live up to its headline.

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