Gabby Petito’s father calls Laundrie family ‘cowards’
Ms Petito’s parents filed a lawsuit in Florida’s Sarasota County Circuit Court in March alleging that Chris and Roberta Laundrie were aware that their son had killed the vlogger before she was reported missing.
Joe Petito and Nichole Schmidt also accuse the Laundries of planning to help Brian leave the country, and are seeking damages for the “intentional infliction of emotional distress”.
Laundrie family attorney Steve Bertolino has described the allegations as “baseless” and is seeking to have the case thrown out.
The lawsuit alleges Brian Laundrie informed his parents of the Ms Petito’s murder “on or about” 28 August.
“While Joseph Petito and Nichole Schmidt were desperately searching for information concerning their daughter, Christopher Laundrie and Roberta Laundrie were keeping the whereabouts of Brian Laundrie secret, and it is believed were making arrangements for him to leave the country,” the lawsuit says.
Judge Hunter W. Carroll will hear arguments from both sides to determine whether the case can proceed to a jury trial next year.
Gabby Petito trial: Brian Laundrie’s parents skip hearing
Brian Laundrie’s parents failed to turn up to court on Wednesday to hear allegations they knew crucial details about Gabby Petito’s murder before she had been found.
Chris and Roberta Laundrie were notable absences as the Petito’s attorney Pat Reilly argued they had deliberately withheld information that could have saved the vlogger’s family immense suffering.
Bevan Hurley has the story.
Graeme Massie22 June 2022 21:33
Who are Christopher and Roberta Laundrie?
ICYMI: Chris and Roberta Laundrie led authorities to personal items belonging to their son Brian in the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park on 20 October, marking the most significant update in the hunt for their fugitive son since he disappeared in mid-August.
Later the same day, human remains were found in the area later, and have been confirmed to be Brian Laundrie.
They had initially refused to speak to police, but later sat down for interviews with the FBI and released carefully-worded statements through their lawyer Steve Bertolino.
Read more about Chris and Roberta Laundrie here.
Graeme Massie22 June 2022 21:04
Brian Laundrie’s parents will not be charged in connection with Gabby Petito murder
ICYMI: While the civil lawsuit case continues, Chris and Roberta Laundrie are not facing criminal prosecution over Gabby Petito’s homicide.
An FBI investigation concluded in January that Laundrie was the sole person responsible for the “tragic death of Gabby Petito” as it announced it was wrapping up its four and a half month long investigation.
Graeme Massie22 June 2022 20:31
Petito family leave Florida courthouse
Gabby Petito’s family has left a Florida courthouse after the first hearing in their civil case against Brian Laundrie’s parents, who did not appear for the hearing. A judge will make a written decision within two weeks on whether the case will go to a jury trial.
Graeme Massie22 June 2022 19:52
Arguments finished by lawyers
Judge says he will try and make a written decision in the case within two weeks, as the Petito’s lawyer says that if trial goes ahead it will only take a day.
Graeme Massie22 June 2022 19:46
Judge asks what legal duty Laundrie family had to Gabby’s parents
“These people were not strangers, their son was engaged to marry Gabby Petito, she had lived with them for about a year, they had visited their home, they had a cordial, warm and friendly relationship, they knew how much Gabby meant to Joe and Nichole,” said Mr Reilly, who called a statement released by the Laundrie family’s lawyer as “callous” and “terrible.”
The statement released by the Laundrie’s lawyer during the hunt for Petito that he is referring to was as follows.
“It is our understanding that a search has been organised for Ms Petito in or near Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. On behalf of the Laundrie family it is our hope that the search for Ms Petito is successful and that Ms Petito is reunited with her family.”
Mr Reilly went on to say that the statement “was a lie that gave false hope to gabby’s parents that she might be found alive.”
Graeme Massie22 June 2022 19:32
Petito layer says Laundrie family could have made ‘anonymous phone call’
“They could have made an anonymous phone call and said where the body was located, that would have helped this situation tremendously,” said Mr Reilly.
“They knew starting on August 28 2021 that Gabby was dead, they knew where gabby’s body was, they knew that the Petito family was desperately searching for information, but they did things affirmatively, they did not just remain silent.”
Graeme Massie22 June 2022 19:18
Pat Reilly starts arguments for Petito family
“This case is not just about the silence of Christopher and Roberta Laundrie who knew that their son had brutally murdered Gabby Petito, it’s not simply about their callous refusal despite pleas from the Petito family to speak up about whether Gabby was live and if she was where her body was located, it is about a course of conduct that they committed from the moment they learned that their son had brutally murdered gabby Petitio until her body was found,” said Mr Reilly.
Graeme Massie22 June 2022 19:14
Laundry lawyer finishes argument
“I don’t believe that the Laundries had an obligation to provde some information, they can withhold all information until it is compelled of them or offered immunity by the government,” said Mr Luka as he completed his arguments.
Graeme Massie22 June 2022 19:10
Judge brings up Johnny Depp case
Judge Hunter W Carroll brought up the fact that Johnny Depp had just been guilty of defamation because of a statement made by his lawyer about Amber Heard.
Graeme Massie22 June 2022 18:57