Ex-NASA safety inspector charged for falsifying space shuttle examinations

Billy T. Thorton, an ex-safety inspector for NASA, pleaded not-guilty Friday to a federal indictment accusing him of falsifying critical examinations of the space shuttle Discovery.

Thorton, after rejecting an offer to plead guilty to one fraud count, now faces 83 fraud counts each with a maximum penalty of $500,000 and up to 15 years in prison. Thorton worked as an inspector with NASA during preparation for the 2003 ill-fated Columbia mission that resulted in the deaths of seven astronauts. AP has more.

 

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