AUSTIN (KXAN) - Another delay has occurred in starting the trial for Gabrielle Nestande, accused in the hit-and-run death of Courtney Griffin more than a year ago.
Friday, defense attorneys said they needed more time to review a report which prosecutors plan to introduce about the accident scene. They asked District Judge Karen Sage for a delay once they learned prosecutors will have an accident reconstruction expert go to the scene and write a report about the area where Griffin's body was found.
Sage ruled that the trial therefore be moved to Oct. 29.
The trial was to have started on Sept. 17 and preparations to select a jury were under way.
In the meantime, Nestande, who was working for Rep. Wayne Christian at the time of her arrest, is free on bail.
She is the daughter of Bruce Nestande , a California politician who is a former Republican California State Assemblyman and Orange County Supervisor. He was also special assistant to Gov. Ronald Reagan from 1971–1972 and executive director of the California Republican Party from 1972–1973.
Gabrielle Nestande is also the half-sister of Rep. Brian Nestande (R-Palm Desert, Calif.)
She entered a plea of not guilty in Austin on Aug. 31. She is charged with failure to stop and render aid in the incident that happened on May 27, 2011 in West Austin.
Police went to Gabrielle Nestande's workplace in the Texas Capitol the next day where she was employed as a legislative staff member to question her about the damage found on her vehicle. According to the arrest affidavit Nestande admitted she was the only driver of the vehicle "being involved in an accident, being scared and not knowing what to do."
The Griffin family hopes to see changes happen in the state law with regard to failure to render aid. Bart Griffin, Courney's father, spoke out a year ago in regard to the charge against Gabrielle Nestande.
"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," Griffin said.
The Griffin family hopes to bring the law to the Texas Legislature, and work with lawmakers to get harsher penalties added.
Late Saturday night into early Sunday morning, a light band of freezing drizzle traversed the I-35 corridor eastward. With sub-freezing temperatures, even the light precipitation created major problems.
A 10-year-old was killed while standing outside a vehicle after the child's family was involved in a fender bender, DPS said.
Austin Police are looking for a missing woman.
APD is responding to a 25 vehicle accident near the 5400 block of Ed Bluestein near Thurgood Ave.
A man is dead after being hit by several vehicles in the eastbound lane of Highway 71 Saturday night.
A representative at the Fayette County Sheriff's office said that Fayette County is effectively shut down due to icy conditions.