Nestande Guilty of Criminally Negligent Homicide (Updated)
Former legislative aide cleared of failure to render aid
By Brandon Watson, 1:00PM, Fri. Feb. 22, 2013
The jury reached a verdict Thursday in the fatal hit-and-run of Courtney Griffin. Former capitol staffer Gabrielle Nestande has been found guilty of criminally negligent homicide, punishable up to 10 years in state jail.
Nestande was cleared of charges to stop and render aid, and also cleared of charges of manslaughter and intoxication manslaughter, but the jury found that her car had been used as a deadly weapon. The trial entered the punishment phase, also before the jury, although Judge Karen Sage may determine the circumstances of Nestande's sentence. After a presentation of Griffin's baby pictures, jurors heard from friends and family. On Friday, defense attorneys asked the jury to grant probation to Nestande, on the grounds that this was a first offense and she has shown remorse. Prosecutors asked for a prison term of two to 10 years. The sentence may be determined this afternoon.
UPDATE: Jurors Friday gave Nestande a 10-year probation sentence and a $10,000 fine. A new hearing is set for March 25 to iron out probationary terms.