Judge denies Laundrie parents’ motion to limit testimony in Gabby Petito case
Chris and Roberta Laundrie wanted to avoid the “emotional distress and embarrassment” of testifying in a civil trial, where they would face the parents of the young woman their son is believed to have killed.
NORTH PORT, Fla. – Gabby Petito may only have been dead 24 hours when Chris and Roberta Laundrie found out their son, Brian, killed his fiancé and dumped her body in Wyoming, according to a lawsuit filed earlier this year by Gabby‘s parents.
Now, Nicole Schmidt and Joseph Petito say their daughter may have been dead fewer than 72 hours before the Laundrie family lawyer learned the truth.
PREVIOUS: Laundries denied motion to avoid ’emotional distress and embarrassment’ during civil trial
Gabby’s parents filed the civil lawsuit against the Laundries, seeking $300,000 in damages for “pain and suffering, mental anguish, inconvenience, loss of capacity for enjoyment of life experienced in the past and to be experienced in the future.” They But they say it’s not about the money.
Full hearing: Laundries denied motion to limit testimony in Gabby Petito trial
Chris and Roberta Laundrie wanted to avoid the “emotional distress and embarrassment” of testifying in a civil trial, where they would face the parents of the young woman their son is believed to have killed. A judge ruled Tuesday they won’t get their wish.
MORE: Gabby Petito murder: Brian Laundrie’s notebook confession revealed, ‘I ended her life’
The Petito family says they want to hold Chris and Roberta Laundrie responsible for the time between August 28, 2021 – when they say Brian told them Gabby was dead – and September 19, 2021 – when Gabby’s remains were discovered in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.
In previous filings, Petito and Schmidt accused the Laundries of knowing Gabby was dead as early as August 28, within 24 hours of the time Gabby is believed to have been killed.
MORE: Surveillance video shows last time Gabby Petito seen alive, with Brian Laundrie in Wyoming Whole Foods
In court filings, Petito’s family says the Laundries knew the location of Gabby’s remains and withheld the information despite a nationwide, multi-agency search to find her.
Brian Laundrie’s notebook confession revealed
The first public glimpse of a confession Brian Laundrie left in a notebook in the Florida swamp where he killed himself last year reveals his final words.
The Petito family now says they intend to prove that the Laundrie family lawyer was contacted on August 29, 2021, and was paid a retainer five days later, on Sept. 2.
TIMELINE: Gabby Petito’s disappearance & death, and the search for Brian Laundrie
They now allege the lawyer, Steven Bertolino, also knew Gabby was dead and the location of her remains, but did not help end the search.
Instead, the lawyer issued statements to the media, on behalf of the Laundrie family.
Laundrie family makes admission from Brian’s notebook
The FBI released its final update on the Gabby Petito investigation, saying a review of the notebook found near Brian Laundrie’s remains showed he claimed responsibility for her death.
On September 14, Bertolino issued a statement saying, “It is our understanding that a search has been organized for Miss Petito in or near Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. On behalf of the Laundrie family it is our hope that the search for Miss Petito is successful and that Miss Petito is reunited with her family.”
“For the Laundries and Steven Bertolino to express their “hope” that Gabrielle Petito was located and reunited with her family, at a time when they knew she had been murdered by Brian Laundrie was beyond outrageous,” the Petito family’s new court filing states.
The civil jury trial is scheduled in Sarasota County court in August 2023.
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