Live

Watch CBSN Live

Ex-Astronaut Wants Ankle Bracelet Off

Interviewing former astronaut Lisa Nowak was "like a chess game," a detective testified Friday as Nowak's attorney urged a judge to throw out evidence and a police interview in which she talked about the alleged attack on a romantic rival.

Nowak also took the stand and asked the court to let her remove her electronic monitoring bracelet, complaining that it cuts her ankle and gets in the way of her military boot lace.

As Nowak testified, the rival she was accused of pepper spraying in an airport parking lot sat a few rows away, frowning.

Air Force Capt. Colleen Shipman told the judge she is still afraid of Nowak and feels better knowing she is monitored.

"When I'm home alone and there's nobody there with me, it is a comfort," Shipman testified. She also acknowledged that she had visited her boyfriend in Nowak's hometown of Houston several times since Nowak's arrest, though. She didn't say if that boyfriend was the same space shuttle pilot involved in the Nowak love triangle.

The judge made no decisions on Friday; in fact he scheduled another six hours of court time to finish the day's arguments, reports CBS News correspondent Kelly Cobiella.

Nowak, a 44-year-old Navy pilot, has pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted kidnapping, battery and burglary with assault involving the February confrontation with Shipman in an airport parking lot.

Authorities have said Nowak drove straight from Houston to Orlando — using baby diapers to avoid having to stop for breaks — then pepper sprayed Shipman and tried to force her way into Shipman's car in the parking lot. Police say Nowak also had a duffel bag with a steel mallet, 4-inch knife and a BB gun.

Nowak's attorney, Donald Lykkebak, asked Circuit Court Judge Marc L. Lubet on Friday to throw out the interview Nowak gave to police after her arrest that day and items found during a search of her car.

In a video from her holding cell the night of her arrest, a distraught and weeping Nowak tells an officer she never intended to hurt Shipman, Cobiella reported.

"It would be a huge boost to the defense if any or all of this evidence is precluded from being shown to jurors, even if those jurors may have heard some snippets of the story by now," CBS News legal analyst Andrew Cohen said.

Nowak had told the detectives that she and Shipman were vying for the affection of the same man and that she confronted Shipman in an Orlando International Airport parking lot because she wanted to know "where she stands."

Lykkebak said in court filings that Nowak gave the interview under duress — after being held for three hours, deprived of sleep and a phone call and unadvised of her constitutional rights. The interview persisted, Lykkebak said, despite Nowak saying "Should I have a lawyer?" three times. He contends police also searched Nowak's car without her permission or a warrant.

Orlando police Detective William Becton testified that he informed Nowak of her rights. He said she never asked for an attorney but did ask him four times if he thought she needed one.

The interview was like a "chess game," Becton said. He said Nowak bargained with information, like her car's whereabouts.

"I realized I was dealing with somebody who was more intelligent than I was, more educated," Becton said. "I was having a very difficult time gaining any information from her."

Nowak's main interest during the interview seemed to be how much Shipman knew, he said.

"There are chunks of the interview, if not large portions, where I'm actually the one being interviewed by her," Becton said. "She was very calculating and methodical in the manner in which she would answer my questions."

Becton also mentioned the diapers, which had made Nowak a joke on comedy shows and around the world.

He said Nowak told him she urinated in them on the 1,000-mile drive from Houston to Orlando to limit stops. Astronauts use diapers during space shuttle missions. Lykkebak said it wasn't true and that the baby diapers had been left in the car after a hurricane evacuation.

Nowak's attorney had said she would also make her first public statement since the arrest, but Nowak instead told reporters that she had "no plans to further discuss this unfortunate episode in a public forum." She instead thanked her supporters.

"It would have been very easy for me to permanently retreat into a world of personal sorrow, but my family and friends have given me a greater view about what is important in our lives," she said. "I look forward to resolution and closure for everyone."

During the hearing, Nowak said she wanted to get rid of the monitoring bracelet because it was bulky and painful and interfered with her ability to exercise — a requirement for a Navy officer. She also said she had to change the batteries every 12-15 hours and that she has to pay for the bracelet, which costs $105 a week, about $3,000 so far.

Assistant state attorney Pamela Davis suggested Nowak could do other exercises, and she dismissed the cost as a real issue for Nowak.

"You're paying a media consultant — fire the consultant," she told her.

Kepler Funk, an attorney for Shipman, called the bracelet the most important condition of Nowak's freedom.

"She is scared of Ms. Nowak," Funk said of his client. "Right now there is probable cause to believe Ms. Nowak committed a crime against Ms. Shipman that's punishable by life in prison. ... The only comfort she's had for the past six months is knowing that someone has been monitoring Ms. Nowak's every move."