Judge Tosses Evidence in Nowak Case

Ex-astronaut's statement, contents of her car inadmissible
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 3, 2007 5:47 AM CDT
Former astronaut Lisa Nowak, right, listens to testimony with her attorney Cheney Mason during a hearing at the Orange County courthouse in Orlando, Fla. in this Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2007 file photo....   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The case against Lisa Nowak, the former astronaut accused of stalking and pepper spraying a rival in a fit of jealousy, took a hit yesterday when a Florida judge threw out evidence recovered from her car and recorded statements she made to the police. The judge ruled that Nowak, facing charges of attempted kidnapping, had not fully understood and waived her Miranda rights, CNN reports.

Orlando police used "legally impermissible" interrogation tactics, the judge found, including threatening and subjecting the sleep-deprived Nowak to "prolonged detention," to obtain consent to search the car she had reportedly driven 900 miles to accost her rival. Among the evidence declared inadmissible is a buck knife, rubber tubing, maps and letters, and adult diapers. The trial is slated for April; Nowak's lawyers indicated in August that they will pursue an insanity defense.