Gabby Petito’s father calls Laundrie family ‘cowards’
Lawyers for Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie will come face-to-face in court for the first time on Wednesday as a judge will decide whether a civil lawsuit against the killer’s family can go ahead.
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.
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
Gabby’s mother rubs heart-shaped locket during hearing
Gabby Petito’s mother Nichole Schmidt could be seen rubbing a heart-shaped locket as the hearing continued.
Graeme Massie22 June 2022 18:55
Remaining silent is a ‘foundational right’ says Laundrie lawyer
“People who are faced with difficult challenges have to make difficult choices and in our society it recognises at its core that remaining silent or speaking through an attorney are foundational rights,” said Mr Luka.
Graeme Massie22 June 2022 18:50
Laundrie parents “not required” to share any information
“My argument is not that there was a privilege between Brian Laundrie and his parents, my argument is that even if Brian Laundrie conveyed information to his parents they do not have a requirement to speak, they do not have to share it,” said Mr Luka.
Graeme Massie22 June 2022 18:44
Laundrie lawyer up first to argue against case
“The law imposes no such obligation to speak,” said Laundrie lawyer Matt Luka. “In our country and under our laws, people are free not to speak.”
Graeme Massie22 June 2022 18:35
Court case gets underway in Florida
Petito family are present while Laundrie family are not.
Graeme Massie22 June 2022 18:33
Petito family arrive in court
Members of Gabby Petito’s family have arrived at the Sarasota County Circuit Court in Venice ahead of a hearing in their civil case agains Brian Laundrie’s family.
Joe and Tara Petito and Jim and Nichole Schmidt will be in court for the hearing.
Bevan Hurley22 June 2022 18:31
Everything we know about Gabby Petito’s murder on ‘dream’ road trip
Gabby Petito, 22, an aspiring social media star who went missing in late August during a “dream” cross-country road trip from New York to Oregon with her fiancé, was strangled to death, and her body found in a Wyoming national park.
More than a month later, skeletal human remains found inside the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park in Florida were confirmed to be those of her fiancé Brian Laundrie.
Autopsy results showed Laundrie died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, and a notebook found alongside the remains contained a note claiming responsibility for the murder.
Read about the background to the case here.
Bevan Hurley22 June 2022 18:28
Gabby Petito’s mother files wrongful death lawsuit against Brian Laundrie estate
In a separate civil lawsuit, Gabby Petito’s mother has filed a wrongful death claim against Brian Laundrie’s estate seeking $30,000 in damages.
Nichole Schmidt states in the suit that Laundrie intentionally killed her 22-year-old daughter, causing her and her ex-husband Joseph Petito to incur funeral and burial expenses, and suffer “a loss of probable future companionship, society and comfort”.
Ms Schmidt is seeking a trial by jury and a judgment for compensatory damages in the suit.
Bevan Hurley22 June 2022 18:05
The man who became the most trusted source in the Gabby Petito case
Brian Entin, NewsNation’s senior correspondent, covered the Gabby Petito case 16 hours a day for several months, and became renowned for his commitment to getting out accurate, timely information.
He spoke to The Independent in November about how he pursued the case, and how it might be resolved.
Bevan Hurley22 June 2022 17:40
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