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Love-triangle astronaut nappies will not be trial evidence

Plods didn't want them, says Nowak PR

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Representatives of Lisa Nowak, the former NASA astronaut famous for allegedly plotting nefarious deeds against a love-triangle rival for the affections of a space shuttle pilot, have contacted the Reg to point out an error in our coverage of the case.

Captain Nowak's PR, Marti Mackenzie, would particularly like to make clear that the nappies found by police in her client's car will not be admitted as evidence in the upcoming trial, and indeed were returned by the Florida cops after they had finished searching the vehicle. In an effort to introduce calm, reasoned discussion to the hysterical media frenzy attendant on the case, Mackenzie sent us a statement, which we reproduce here in part:

There are NO DIAPERS in evidence in her case. The appellate ruling in Lisa's case allows into evidence map and correspondence found in the trunk of her car. There are NO Diapers in evidence. The only diapers ever in her car were toddler sized pampers, unused, in the trunk of her car that her twin daughters used and these were returned along with her car almost two years ago.

Just to recap, then. Captain Nowak, who flew in space aboard the shuttle in 2006, reportedly enjoyed the affections of space pilot Bill Oefelein - a fellow naval aviator - while he was also involved with air force captain Colleen Shipman and possibly his wife, whom he has since divorced.

In February 2007, Nowak drove from Florida to Texas without sleep and confronted Shipman in an airport car park. Prosecutors say that she disguised herself in a wig, glasses and trenchcoat before the encounter and squirted pepper spray through the window of her rival's car. Shipman escaped after the incident, and responding cops - having searched the area and Nowak's car after interrogating her - say they discovered a mallet, a hunting knife, a BB air pistol, rubbish bags and surgical tubing which Nowak had brought with her.

The police also stated in their reports that used nappies had been found in the car, perhaps worn by Nowak during her cross-country dash so as to minimise on comfort stops. However, it now appears that they never seized the said nappies as evidence and returned them along with Captain Nowak's car after their search.

Nowak's lawyer, Donald Lykkebak, has previously said that the nappies in the car were toddler-sized and that some had been used by the astronaut's twin daughters when the family fled Hurricane Rita in September 2005, at which point the children were four. They had then been discovered by the police 18 months later after the airport fracas.

This either does or doesn't jibe with the new statement from Ms Mackenzie, depending on how you read it.

Hopefully this clears things up. The trial date has yet to be set. ®

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