Nestande's father takes the stand



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Posted on February 21, 2013 at 7:29 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 21 at 7:41 PM

AUSTIN - Immediately following Courtney Griffin's father, Gabrielle Nestande's father took the stand.

It was a very composed and straightforward testimony from Bruce Nestande Thursday, after hearing a jury found his 25-year-old daughter guilty of criminally negligent homicide. Nestande said this is a tragedy his family will deal with for the rest of their lives but admitted it was not comparable to what the Griffin family is going through.

He was on the stand for about 30 minutes, during that time Nestande described his daughter Gabrielle's volunteer work, saying it was a priority for her. He also talked about her political work on Governor Rick Perry's campaign and working as a legislative aide at the Capitol, something he said had to come to an end with this tragedy.

When prosecutors asked if Gabrielle or her sister had a drinking problem, he replied 'absolutely not.'

"The two girls, I don't believe, drank until they were 21. And I'm the kind of father that would sit up and watch TV and wait, so they would have to walk by me to go to bed," he said of their upbringing.

Nestande also said that he believes his daughter's explanation of that night when she hit and killed Courtney Griffin.

"I said 'be yourself, tell the truth,' he said. "I know Gabrielle and her credibility as far as I'm concerned."

The prosecution also brought up a liquor store charge on Gabrielle's credit card after the crash. Nestande explained that they share the card and he guarantees that his daughter has not had a drink since the night of the crash.

After Nestande, a probation officer took the stand to explain what life would be like if Gabrielle was under probation. Her father said it was likely she will stay in Austin if that is the case

The jury will decide a sentence for Gabrielle Nestande during deliberations Friday morning. She is facing two to 10 years in a state penitentiary or probation.