Gabrielle Jane Nestande DUI Death Trial: 10 Reasons Jurors Might Acquit

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An Austin, Texas, jury continues deliberations today. Before, we had presented reasons things don't look good for the DUI death trial defense of driver Gabrielle Jane Nestande. So, it's only fair we present her side's counterpoints. Nestande grew up in Newport Beach as the daughter of GOP insider and former Orange County politician Bruce Nestande, and she's the half-sister of state Assemblyman Brian Nestande. She was working as a legislative aide in the Texas capitol on May 27, 2011, when she plowed her BMW into a nanny out for a walk.

Gabby has been charged with felony intoxication manslaughter and felony manslaughter, each of which carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in a Texas prison, and felony failure to stop and render aid, which is punishable by up to 10 years behind bars.

Gabrielle Jane Nestande DUI Death Trial: 10 Reasons Things Don't Look Good for Defense

Here are 10 reasons jurors might opt to acquit Nestande:

- Testifying in her own defense Tuesday at the Travis County Justice Complex, Nestande said she spent the first part of the night of May 26, 2011, drinking water--but no alcohol--during happy hour at a bar called the Cloak Room.

- The 25-year-old downed a shot, one full beer, half of four more beers and a couple of sips of a vodka drink later that same night at the Clive Bar. "Looking back, should you have driven after that?" one of her defense attorneys asked. "I felt fine," Nestande answered.

- After about two hours at the Clive Bar, her boyfriend first drove her to his West Austin apartment, and then she alone headed home south in her BMW on Exposition Boulevard through Tarrytown during the overnight hours of May 27, 2011. Realizing after three or four blocks she needed to check to make sure she'd set her phone alarm to go off for work later the same morning, she placed the cell in a cup holder just as her windshield shattered. "It was just an instant," she told jurors. "It was so quick." (REPORTER'S NOTE: This paragraph was corrected to reflect boyfriend driving her to his apartment.)

- She pulled over and checked her side and rearview mirrors. "I remember just looking down. I was so scared, my heart was beating out of my chest. My windshield was shattered. There was glass on the passenger side. I looked in my rearview in the street to see if anything was moving, and it wasn't." Fearing someone may have thrown a rock at her car, she drove back to her boyfriend's apartment.

- She did not know she had hit a person--30-year-old nanny and veterinarian aide Courtney Griffin, whose body was found in a residential neighborhood driveway along Exposition--until her boss, Texas state Representative Wayne Christian told her at work in his office later that same morning. Asked by one of her defense attorneys, "Who's fault is it that we are here?" Nestande mumbled. He repeated the question and she answered audibly, "It's mine." After a long pause, she sobbed into her hands.

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2 comments
Cottonwood
Cottonwood

"I remember just looking down. I was so scared, my heart was beating out of my chest....I looked in my rearview in the street to see if anything was moving, and it wasn't."    Seems like she had an awareness of what actually happened.

cariposa
cariposa

Third point: She did not drive to Marchbanks from Clive.  They were in his car and he (the most drunk person) drove them to his house at which point she left to go home.

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