AUSTIN – Friday afternoon, a Travis County jury sentenced Gabrielle Nestande to 10 years probation for the hit-and-run death of 30-year-old Courtney Griffin in May 2011.
“We further find that the defendant has never been convicted of a felony in this state or any other state and we recommend that her sentence be suspended and that the defendant be placed on community supervision,” the jury’s decision read by the judge.
Nestande had nothing to say as she left the Travis County Justice Complex in the arms of her father.
None of the twelve jurors in the case wanted to speak to journalists. Some ran from the cameras. Other jurors hid their faces.
Bart Griffin, Griffin's father, also declined to speak about the jury’s verdict. However, Courtney Griffin’s birth mother said this when asked what message this decision sent to the rest of Austin:
“Everybody just go out and drink, get behind the wheel, drive through neighborhoods and hit innocent people that aren't wearing dark clothing on a dark street where anyone should be able to see them. She knew that she killed my daughter,” Laurie Griffin said.
On March 25th, a judge will decide the specifics of Nestande’s probation. The same judge could also decide to sentence Nestande to up to 180 days in jail.