Alabama grand jury indicts ex-astronaut in traffic deaths
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.