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Nestande Gets Probation For Hit And Run Conviction
Gabrielle Nestande was sentenced to 10 years in prison Friday afternoon for the 2011 hit and run death of Courtney Griffin, but the jury recommended the prison sentence be suspended and serve 10 years of probation instead. She also received a $10,000 fine.
Nestande, 25, was convicted of criminally negligent homicide Thursday for Griffin's death. Nestande hit and killed Griffin as Griffin was walking on Exposition Boulevard. Nestande left the scene of the crash.
During the closing arguments for the sentencing phase Assistant District Attorney Mary Farrington told the jury probation for Nestande is not appropriate. She warned the jury that probation would be lax if Nestande serves it in her home state of California. Then Farrington told the jury that prison time for Nestande would provide both a punishment and a deterrent for others.
Defense attorney Perry Minton says he and his father, legendary Austin lawyer Roy Minton, believe probation is not a slap on the wrist. He added that it's not the jurors' job to send a message to deter similar acts.
Art Acevedo, chief of the Austin Police Department, released a statement after the sentencing decision that expressed what he said was a deep disappointment for the history of permissiveness in the community. "My heart goes out to the Griffin family who have been sentenced to a lifetime without their loving daughter, with woefully minor consequences for the individual responsible for this senseless and completely avoidable tragedy," he said.
To watch the closing arguments in full, go to http://www.keyetv.com/news/features/raw-news/stories/gabrielle-nestande-punishment-phase-closing-arguments-72.shtml.