Prosecutors: Woman accused of witness tampering in fatal hit-and-run case

Reporter: Anika Henanger Writer: Derrick Shaw
Published: Updated:

The woman accused of killing a North Fort Myers teenager in a hit-and-run last year is now believed to have tampered with witnesses who are set to testify.

Courtney Gainey, 25, was in court Thursday morning. While her trial date was set for Sept. 21, the victim’s family said they’re tired of waiting and tired of the distractions keeping them from justice.

Lee County deputies say Gainey was behind the wheel Jan. 11, 2020, when Allana Staiano, 14, was struck while walking with a friend on McDaniel Drive. Allana died at the scene and her friend was injured. The driver left the scene and Gainey turned herself in three days later.

If you remember one name from this story, Christine Gray hopes it’s that of her daughter Allana.

Allana Staiano (Photo courtesy of family)

“She was such a sweetheart. She had a temper. We used to call her a little hell on wheels. One minute she’d be smiling, and the next minute she could growl,” Gray said.

Now, she only sees her daughter’s smile in memories.

“And those are the kinds of things that we like to think about – keep our mind on ‘Lani.”

Investigators arrested Gainey for Allana’s death, which happened a year a half ago.

“We’re just exhausted, we’re tired; we just want to see a resolution,” Gray said.

A trial date was finally set Thursday and Gainey will go to trial in September after several delays.

“It’s just the fact, knowing that we have to still deal with this every time we are able to start healing. Everything is brought back to this. It’s completely devastating.”

The state plans to add another charge of witness tampering. Prosecutors told the judge that Gainey asked witnesses not to show up for depositions, and if they did, to say they didn’t remember anything.

One of those witnesses was driving behind Gainey the night investigators say Gainey killed Allana.

“It’s hard to heal at all when it’s in your face so much,” Gray said.

Right now, Gainey faces a charge of hit-and-run involving a death. She remains free on bond and has pleaded not guilty.

There is no word on when the state will file the witness tampering charge.

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