Attorneys for disgraced former astronaut Lisa Nowak are planning an insanity defense when she goes on trail next month for assault and the attempted kidnapping of a romantic rival. The AP has details:
Nowak suffered from major depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, insomnia and "brief psychotic disorder with marked stressors," defense attorney Donald Lykkebak wrote. He said the already-petite woman had also recently lost 15 percent of her body weight and struggled with "marital separation."
"This notice does not challenge competence to stand trial, but only raises insanity at the time of the offense," he wrote.
Nowak, 44, was charged with attempted kidnapping, battery and burglary with assault after allegedly driving nearly 1,000 miles (1,609 kilometers) from Houston to Orlando to confront Colleen Shipman, the girlfriend of a former pilot Nowak had been involved with.
A psychologist friend of ours opined several months ago that Nowak's bizarre trek was indicative of mental illness. We have no reason to doubt his diagnosis, but we're not sure that defense will convince jurors to go easy on the Navy Captain. Nowak's trial begins next month.
If Nowak was mentally ill at the time she attacked Ms. Shipman, that raises a disturbing question: how did the warning signs escape NASA flight surgeons, who work closely with the astronauts and examine them on a regular basis?
Oh, that's right. Those are the same flight surgeons who--according to a recent NASA report--let some astronauts blast off into space, legally intoxicated.
Isn't the space agency about due for another house-cleaning?