BU Grad Convicted In Deadly Hit-And-Run Released From Jail

Gabrielle Nestande (Jail photo)

AUSTIN (September 20, 2013)--Baylor University graduate and former state Capitol staffer Gabrielle Nestande, 26, who was convicted in March in a deadly hit-and-run in 2011 Austin, was released from the Travis County Correctional Complex Friday after completing a six-month jail sentence.

She was originally charged with intoxication manslaughter and manslaughter but a jury opted in February to convict her of the lesser offense of criminally negligent homicide.

Jurors sentenced her to 10 years of probation, 600 hours of community service and a $10,000 fine, but State District Court Judge Karen Sage added jail time to the jury’s recommendation when she sentenced Nestande in March.

Nestande must also write a letter of apology to the victim’s family.

Nestande, who was an aide to State Rep. Wayne Christian, R-Center, was arrested in May 2011 after the hit-and-run accident that left Courtney Griffin, 30, dead.

A resident found Griffin's body lying partly on a driveway and partly on Exposition Boulevard in Austin.

Nestande was arrested later the same day after police received an anonymous tip about a vehicle with a broken windshield.

The black BMW was found in a driveway at a home on Windsor Road.

Nestande claimed during her trial that she was looking at her phone and didn't know what she had hit.

Earlier this month, she was attacked by another inmate at Travis County’s Del Valle Correctional Facility, but a guard who was just feet away was able to separate the women quickly, he said.

Nestande received a laceration on her forehead and injuries to her right cheek in eye in the attack and was treated at the jail's infirmary.

The other inmate, Rachel Castillo, 27, was charged with assault causing bodily injury, a Class-A misdemeanor.

Nestande's father, Bruce Nestande, served in California's state Assembly in the late 1970s and was a one-time aide to then Gov. Ronald Reagan.