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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – A former NASA astronaut facing reckless murder charges has had his driving privileges restored with several conditions, following a court’s ruling on Friday.

James Halsell was arrested following a deadly wreck in June near Tuscaloosa that killed two young girls, ages 11 and 13.  A grand jury indicted Halsell, a former NASA space shuttle commander, on two counts of reckless murder and assault.

The criminal case against him is still pending. He also faces civil lawsuits in connection with the deaths.

Halsell petitioned the court to have his driving privileges restored. A judge granted it with the following conditions:

  • Halsell shall consume no alcohol, illegal drugs or medications for which he does not have a valid prescription
  • Halsell shall undergo Community Corrections supervision testing twice weekly
  • An ignition interlock device will be placed in Halsell’s vehicle
  • Any violation of these conditions shall be immediately reported to the court
James D. Halsell (Image: Wikipedia)
James D. Halsell (Image: Wikipedia)

Halsell piloted two shuttle missions and commanded three others between 1994 and 2000. He went to work in the aerospace industry in 2006.