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

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After five days of making its case, the prosecution rested today against Gabrielle Jane Nestande, the daughter of a veteran Orange County politician and GOP insider fighting to stay out of a Texas prison for following a night of drinking with driving into a pedestrian who died and leaving the scene.

Text messages, surveillance video, police interviews, witness testimony and reconstruction of the accident scene were among the evidence presented to a jury that will decide the fate of the 25-year-old daughter of Newport Beach's Bruce Nestande.

What follows are 10 reasons things look badly at this hour for the defense of the former high school tennis player and sailing instructor whose former Orange County supervisor and assemblyman father just six years ago escorted her to a Newport Beach debutante ball:

- No sobriety test was administered to Gabby Nestande after her damaged BMW was found at her boyfriend's house in May 2011, so the prosecution has explored other ways to prove she had been drinking heavily in Austin the night before the early morning accident that killed 30-year-old Courtney Griffin, who had been walking in a bike lane in nearby Tarrytown. A witness who works as a lobbyist in the state capital testified today that Gabby, a legislative aide, sent her a text message that night saying she drank five beers and later hit a deer.

- Witnesses who had been at the same bar and knew who Gabby told the court Thursday she appeared drunk, with one referring to her as "sloppy." Based on the way she was stumbling out of the bar, she needed to be helped, testified one witness, who on cross-examination acknowledged Gabby's high heels could have made walking difficult also. The pitch of her voice was louder than anyone else in the establishment, that witness testified.

- Based on bar tabs, witness statements and surveillance video, it was determined Gabby had been in the same bar for four hours and took her last shot at 11:21 p.m., 10 minutes before she left.

- A police sergeant testified today the residential area of the accident was well lit. The cop on Friday testified there were no skid marks on the 35mph stretch of Exposition Boulevard where the accident happened. Branches nearby indicated Griffin had been thrown through a bush, and her shoe and broken car glass was in the driveway where a homeowner found the body.

- When the cop arrived at the home of Gabby's boyfriend, where the officer had been told a car was parked that appeared to have been in an accident, he saw what appeared to be hair and clothing in the BMW's cracked windshield and an empty Miller Lite bottle in the backseat.

OC Weekly Gabrielle Nestande archives

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