Judge OKs evidence in deadly crash involving ex-astronaut

Sep 9, 2020

 

In this April 6, 2000 file photo, space shuttle Atlantis mission commander James Halsell Jr. speaks to reporters at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. A Tuscaloosa County judge ruled Alabama prosecutors can use evidence collected by police after the former NASA astronaut crashed into another car while driving on a rural road more than four years ago, killing two girls.
Credit Associated Press

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — A judge says Alabama prosecutors can use evidence collected by police after a former NASA astronaut crashed into another car while driving on a rural road, killing two girls. 

A Tuscaloosa County judge says jurors can hear that one-time space shuttle pilot James Halsell told police about drinking wine at a motel hours before the crash in June 2016. He also ruled that prosecutors can use evidence found in the room during a search.

The 63-year-old Halsell is charged with reckless murder in a crash that killed 11-year-old Niomi Deona James and 13-year-old Jayla Latrick Parler. The defense blames the crash on sleeping medication.