A courtroom bombshell happened late Thursday in the hit and run trial of a former legislative aide. It was the result of what appears to be a well-played trap sprung prosecutors.
Gabrielle Nestande entered court Thursday morning with her defense team showing little emotion. But the jury got to see a different side of the former state legislative aide. Prosecutors continued to play video of Nastande and her friends out drinking the night of May 26, 2011.
"And observing this you feel like she was perfectly fine to get in a car and drive? The way it appears honestly ... normal .. That's she doing that's triggering anything I can see."
William Marchbanks, Nestande's boyfriends indicated he now regrets letting her leave alone, although he originally gave investigators a slightly different statement.
"During that interview you were asked if you saw any signs of intoxication of the defendant and your answer was, not from my eyes at that point, is that correct? Do you remember that, and by that you meant not by my intoxicated or drunk eyes."
"From my eyes I didn't see any," Marchbanks said.
Prosecutors are trying to establish that Gabrielle Nestande got drunk - and later ran down Courtney Griffin- whose body was found thrown from the roadway in a west Austin neighborhood. Ward Wyatt, a state capitol co-worker - testified about the frantic call he got from Nestande that morning.
"And what did she tell you about her car and what had happened to her," asked prosecutor Allison Wetzel.
"She told me that she believed she hit a deer," said Wyatt who went on to explain she also told him it was possible someone threw a rock at her car.
Prosecutor Allison Wetzel continued to hammer away at that story and later grilled Marchbanks about whether or not Nestande really knew what had happened.
About a month after the incident during an interview with prosecutors and investigators Marchbanks said Nestande told him she can't get the image out of her head, which he originally thought was a reference to seeing Griffin smash into her front windshield"
At the end of the day prosecutors sprung their trap. They played a jailhouse phone conversation Nestande had with her sister, Francesca, the day she was arrested. The conversation seems to contradicts the story that she didn't know she hit a person
"Did you know at all, how drunk were you?" asked Francesca Nestande.
"Yes I did know," said Gabrielle Nestande.
"You knew?," asked Francesca Nestande.
"I wasn't, yes I did I know what happened," said Gabrielle Nestande
The trial broke for the day after that with that startling revelation. It will make Friday a damage control day for the defense.