The woman accused of fatally striking 14-year-old Allana Staiano with her car in the Suncoast Estates, then fleeing the scene was in court Wednesday morning and was granted a $100,000 bond to get out of jail.
Courtney Gainey, 23 years old, surrendered herself on Tuesday afternoon to members of the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Warrants Task Force. She had been on the run since Saturday night’s hit-and-run crash that took Allana’s life.
The State requested no bond for the defendant as she fled out of Lee County to Collier County. They think she could be a flight risk. The defendant’s attorney argued that was not the case and that she had been in contact with him the entire time. Since Gainey did not stay at the scene, the prosecutors countered, $100,000 was not enough.
MORE: Suspect arrested in a hit-and-run crash that killed a 14-year-old girl
“The danger to the community, given there was a death in this situation and a serious bodily injury,” the prosecutor said, “the state would ask for hold with no bond.”
The lead detective testified in court, saying the defendant was hiding out in Naples, possibly with her roommate or her boyfriend. But her defense attorney said after court that his client did not run from law enforcement.
“She was simply in Naples with her boyfriend,” the defense attorney said.
The judge ruled that the defendant would be allowed to get out on bond, ordering her to pay $75,000 for Count 1 of Hit-And-Run, and $25,000 for Count 2 of Hit-And-Run.
The defendant was ordered to have no contact with the victim’s family and also must wear a GPS monitoring device.
Her next court date is scheduled for February 17, at 8:30 a.m.
‘It’s like Deja Vu a year later’
On Saturday evening, Allana was walking with her friend along McDaniel Dr. Witnesses driving behind Courtney Gainey said she was driving erratically and at one point, swerved to the right. That’s when witnesses said they saw two girls hit by the suspect’s SUV.
Christy-Lee Iwanow operates the group, Benches for our Babes. She said these types of tragic crashes are happening too often.
“I never thought that another Allana, nevertheless another little girl, in North Fort Myers would have been taken this soon,” Christy-Lee said. “And their stories are pretty much so identical. It’s like Deja Vu a year later.”
Benches for our Babes started after Alana Tamplin was killed almost exactly a year ago.
“This is two girls that were walking with their best friend,” Christy-Lee said. “These are two girls that are 13 and 14 years old. Everything lines up to be basically the exact same story. They both were walking on the shoulder where the driver had veered off.”
Christy-Lee is communicating with Allana’s mother and trying to help any way she can.
“You really do have to sit down with them and you know,” Christy-Lee said, “just let them talk about their daughter.”
Christy-Lee is making sure a bench will be placed at the site of the crash. She said it will be placed there within the next month. It allows Allana’s family to decorate it in a way that honors the life of their daughter.
“That is a mark to let people know to slow down,” Christy-Lee said. “To be cautious of your surroundings. To also know to respect the area.”
The funeral service for Allana will be held on Friday, Jan. 17, at 5 p.m. at the Memorial Gardens in Fort Myers. The funeral service is open to the public.