Baylor Graduate Convicted In Deadly Hit-And-Run Avoids Prison

Gabrielle Nestande (Jail photo)

AUSTIN (February 22, 2013)—The sentence a jury recommended Friday means Baylor graduate and former state legislative aide Gabrielle Nestande, 25, won’t go to prison for a hit-and-run accident in 2011 in Austin that left a pedestrian dead.

Jurors, who convicted Nestande Thursday of criminally negligent homicide, recommended a suspended 10-year sentence a $10,000 fine Friday.

State District Judge Karen Sage ordered a pre-sentencing review and said the final terms and conditions of Nestande's probation will be determined at a hearing on March 25.

Nestande could have been sentenced to as much as 10 years in prison.

She was originally charged with intoxication manslaughter and manslaughter but the jury opted to convict her of the lesser offense on Thursday.

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.

On Thursday her father, Bruce Nestande, testified about his daughter’s charity work and other good deeds.

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