Home Main Former Cuesta student held in hit-and-run death of Cal Poly student may...

Former Cuesta student held in hit-and-run death of Cal Poly student may be moved to County Jail


Gianna Brencola attends her Nov. 7 court hearing.
Photo by Alexander Bissell/Cuestonian

By Rachel Barnes
News Editor

The former Cuesta student who stands accused of the vehicular manslaughter of a Cal Poly student may be transferred from juvenile custody to the County Jail.

At a court hearing on Nov. 7 it was discussed whether Gianna Brencola should be housed at the Juvenile Services Center, where she has been since her arrest in late August, or if she should be transferred to County Jail following the case’s transfer to adult court, according to the San Luis Obispo District attorney’s office.

The judge decided Oct. 30 that the severity of the matter warranted the case being moved to adult court.

Brencola has been in custody at Juvenile Services Center in lieu of $195,000 bail since she allegedly struck Kennedy Love, a Cal Poly student with her car, causing his death, authorities said. She is facing charges of vehicular manslaughter, felony DUI and felony hit-and-run.

The defense lawyer who has taken over representation of Brencola since her case was transferred to adult court, Paul Phillips, said there has been no issues with her so far in juvenile custody and that the law allows a request to have her remain there.

The defendant’s arraignment, which was to be held today, has been continued to Nov. 9, said Lee Cunningham, San Luis Obispo County assistant district attorney. It is expected that Brencola will enter a plea at that time.

Brencola’s name had been kept confidential until the judge’s ruling last week because authorities were legally prevented from releasing her identity since she was a minor at the time of the alleged vehicular manslaughter.

Love was riding his bike down Foothill Boulevard, near Ferrini Road, at approximately 11:30 p.m. on Aug. 29 when the suspect allegedly hit him, left the scene and then abandoned her vehicle on Tassajara Street. Love died at the scene, authorities said.

Police arrested Brencola about an hour later after locating her in her Los Osos home, authorities said.

Her blood-alcohol level that night was .148 percent, authorities said, nearly two times the legal driving limit of the .08 percent allowed for motorists 21 and over.

Brencola was 17 at the time of the alleged vehicular manslaughter and was enrolled as a Cuesta student then.