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Former Cuesta student transferred to County Jail, booked on suspicion of hit-and-run death of Cal Poly student


Gianna Brencola was booked into the SLO County Jail on Thursday.
Photo courtesy of the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office

By Rachel Barnes
News Editor

The former Cuesta student charged in the vehicular manslaughter of a Cal Poly student was transferred Thursday from the Juvenile Services Center to County Jail.

Gianna Brencola’s defense attorney, Paul Phillips, filed a motion requesting she remain at the juvenile facility, but a San Luis Obispo Superior Court judge denied the motion and remanded her to the custody of the Sheriff’s Department. The judge also set her bail at $165,000.

The decision to transfer Brencola, who was 17 at the time of the fatal incident in late August, from juvenile custody to the County Jail follows a judge’s ruling Oct. 30 to move the case to adult court based upon the severity of the matter.

Brencola has been in custody since she allegedly struck Kennedy Love, a Cal Poly student, with her car, causing his death, authorities said. She faces charges of vehicular manslaughter, felony DUI and felony hit-and-run.

A plea was not entered today and the arraignment, which was to be held this morning, has been continued to Nov. 14. Following today’s court hearing, Brencola was transported to County Jail where she booked and housed.

Brencola’s name had been kept confidential until her case was moved to adult court 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.