Alabama grand jury in­dicts ex-as­tro­naut in traf­fic deaths

Baltimore Sun - - NATION & WORLD -

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — A grand jury in Alabama has in­dicted a for­mer NASA space shut­tle com­man­der on four felony charges in the traf­fic deaths of two girls killed on a ru­ral high­way in June, a pros­e­cu­tor said Thurs­day.

Grand ju­rors in­dicted James Halsell Jr., who turns 60 Fri­day, on two counts each of reck­less mur­der and as­sault, said Tuscaloosa County prose- cu­tor Jonathan Cross.

The Huntsville res­i­dent was ar­rested on reck­less mur­der charges af­ter the June 6 wreck that killed Niomi James, 11, and Jayla Par­ler, 13, in the west Alabama county. Po­lice re­ports show in­ves­ti­ga­tors be­lieve al­co­hol and speed could be fac­tors.

Halsell is free on bond. A lawyer rep­re­sent­ing him, James Stur­di­vant, de­clined com­ment on the in­dict­ment.

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