Friend: Nestande was "sloppy drunk" night of fatal crash


by JESSICA HOLLOWAY / KVUE News and photojournalist MICHAEL MOORE

Posted on February 14, 2013 at 4:53 PM

Updated Monday, Mar 18 at 12:40 PM

TRAVIS COUNTY -- New testimony emerged Thursday in the Gabrielle Nestande manslaughter trial. Jurors are getting a clearer picture of Nestande's level of intoxication the night investigators say she hit and killed 30-year-old Courtney Griffin.

A college friend who knew 25-year-old Nestande from Baylor University testified Nestande was, "sloppy drunk" hours before she hit Griffin.

Prosecutors presented surveillance video from inside Clive Bar. Nestande is seen on camera laughing, taking shots, hanging on a man named William Marchbanks and kissing him.

Marchbanks testified that he was drinking with Nestande the night of the crash. He said she didn't appear drunk to him but later told friends, "I knew she shouldn't have left" after he learned about the crash.

Marchbanks asked for immunity early on when police began investigating this case.

Thursday, prosecutor Allison Whetsel asked Marchbanks if he recalls telling an investigator that Nestande told him on the phone she'd struck a human. He replied, "That's what I thought at the time." He now says Nestande was talking about a deer, not a human.

At 5 p.m. just as court was wrapping up for the day, prosecutors presented another key piece of evidence. They played a jailhouse phone conversation Nestande had with her sister. Her sister asked, "Do you know how much you drank?"

Nestande replied, "I know what happened."


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