Trial of ex-astronaut charged in fatal Tuscaloosa crash set for June


James Halsell walking to a court hearing in Tuscaloosa County.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — The trial of a former NASA astronaut charged in a car crash that killed two girls in 2016 is now scheduled to begin in June.

A judge is Tuscaloosa issued an order Monday setting James Halsell’s reckless murder trial for June 8. In-person courthouse proceedings are shut down statewide because of the coronavirus pandemic. But the judge entered a written order without a hearing.

Halsell was arrested after a car crash killed two sisters, 11-year-old Niomi Deona James and 13-year-old Jayla Latrick Parler, in 2016. Authorities contend he was under the influence of alcohol. The defense blames the wreck on sleeping medication.


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