Hearing Delayed in Ex-Astronaut’s DUI Homicide Case

Drunken, Reckless American Astronaut
Colonel James D. Halsell, USAF Retired

By AuxBeacon Aggregator | AuxBeacon News

[Editor’s Note: AuxBeacon has received many comments suggesting Halsell’s biography and the outcome of this case to be indicative of “privilege” and a “spoiled brat.”]

A scheduled hearing for James Halsell Jr, the former NASA astronaut accused of causing a fatal crash while intoxicated has not taken place as scheduled. Court records showed that attorneys were attempting to work toward a settlement, but no word was ever provided on a new hearing date.

Halsell, 60, was facing two reckless murder charges for his drunken crash that killed two young girls on U.S. Highway 82 East on the 6th of June. He was found intoxicated from wine and sleeping pills, and thought he was driving on Interstate 20/59.

At the time of their deaths, Halsell was on probation for an April 2014 drunken driving crash in Palmdale, California a city north of Los Angeles that’s a major hub of the aerospace industry.

“We’re dealing with someone who obviously has no respect for operating a vehicle on highways and who continues to hurt, injure and now has killed two young girls,” said Jessica Sanders, an attorney for the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, at a hearing held in November.

Halsell was charged with reckless murder because Niomi James, 11, and Jayla Parler, 13, died in the crash when they were thrown from the vehicle. A grand jury later charged him with first-degree assault because James’ father and his girlfriend also suffered injuries.

According to NASA records, James Halsell became an astronaut in 1991 and logged more than 1,250 hours in space on five flights, according to NASA.

Halsell was born and raised in West Monroe, Louisiana and attended the United States Air Force Academy, graduating in 1978. From there he attended Undergraduate Pilot Training at Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi. He became an F-4 Phantom II pilot qualified in conventional and nuclear weapon delivery serving at Nellis Air Force Base, Las Vegas, Nevada, from 1980-1981, and Moody Air Force Base, Valdosta, Georgia, from 1982-1984

Halsell earned a Master of Science in Management from Troy University in 1983 and a Master’s degree in Space Operations from the Air Force Institute of Technology in 1985.

He then attended the Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base, California, and during the next four years he performed test flights in the F-4, F-16 and SR-71 aircraft. Halsell retired from the Air Force in July 2004.

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