Friday, 24 August 2007

Troubled ex-astronaut wants ankle monitor removed

Former NASA astronaut Lisa Nowak, accused of attacking a romantic rival, appeared in court Friday to request that a judge remove her electronic monitoring ankle bracelet.

The 44-year-old Navy pilot said the GPS monitoring device cuts her ankle and gets in the way of her military boot laces. She said she doesn't go to public places in fear something might trigger its alarm. The anklet also impedes her ability drive and to exercise, she said, a key requirement for her job.

The assistant district attorney pointed to other exercises Nowak could do and said the woman has been able to bathe despite the bracelet. She also scoffed at Nowak's complaint the device has been a pricey expense, costing her US$3,000 so far.

"You're paying a media consultant -- fire the consultant!" said Pamela Davis.

Nonetheless, if the court agrees to remove the bracelet, Nowak has promised to stay away from air force Capt. Colleen Shipman, the woman she is accused of pepper-spraying in a fight over a mutual love interest.

Shipman also appeared in court, testifying she feels a lot safer knowing Nowak is being monitored.

"When I'm home alone and there's nobody there with me, it is a comfort," she said of Nowak's monitoring bracelet.