Speaking out in the media about the death of her daughter, who a former Orange County supervisor's daughter is accused of killing, has mostly fallen to Courtney Griffin's mother. But now the father of the late 30-year-old Austin, Texas, nanny, is chiming in for the first time, vowing that the quest for justice extends beyond seeing to it Gabrielle Jane Nestande is sent to prison despite her strong political connections in Texas and California.
"The fact is, Nestande was out drinking the night of the 26th," Bart Griffin tells Austin's KXAN below in reference to the date in May that preceded his daughter's hit-and-run death. "She ran over and killed my daughter, early morning between 12:30 and 1 o'clock on Friday morning. Then she left the scene. She left my daughter to die. And because of that, she has basically escaped any other charges that may have been filed against her.
"A person can not be incentivized for leaving the scene of an accident and leaving someone to die."
- Gabrielle Nestande, Former OC Supervisor's Daughter and Rick Perry Campaign Worker, Indicted on Single Charge in Woman's Hit-and-Run Death in Texas
- Ex-OC Supervisor, Assemblyman and Booze Hound Bruce Nestande's Daughter Accused of Fatal Hit-and-Run
The Griffins have reason to be leery that justice will be served. Nestande is the 24-year-old daughter of former Orange County Supervisor and state Assemblyman Bruce Nestande, half sister of Riverside Republican Assemblyman Brian Nestande and a former campaign worker for Texas Gov. Rick Perry. The day of the drinking Griffin refers to, Gabrielle Griffin was at the Texas Capitol receiving honors for her service as a legislative aide to state Rep. Wayne Christian (R-Center).
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She was indicted last week on the single charge of failing to stop and render aid after driving her BMW into Courtney Griffin, who was walking home to her Tarrytown apartment, and fleeing the scene. That single charge could bring a maximum 10-year prison sentence, but police originally included a charge of hit-and-run, and an investigator later revealed that alcohol played a role in the incident.
For Bart Griffin, the single count is not enough.
"It's as simple as that. The law, 'failure to render aid,' has got to be changed. And we intend, our family intends, to do something about that," he tells KXAN, adding they plan to work with the lawmakers who worked with Nestande to achieve harsher penalties.
Besides making trips to the Texas Capitol, the Griffins plan to show up in court and face the former Newport Beach resident, who has a designation hearing scheduled on Oct 21.