UNREPENTANT: Lawyer for Brian Laundrie’s parents says they have 'NO REGRETS' over way they behaved
The parents of Brian Laundrie, who was responsible for Gabby Petito’s death, have claimed through their attorney that they “did everything the right way” as the sensational case unfolded last year. Attorney Steve Bertolino told NewsNation’s ‘Banfield’ on Wednesday night, June 22, “What I knew, or what Chris and Roberta knew, we did not have to disclose, to any third party, and specifically to law enforcement, or the Petito family. I did everything the right way. We have no regrets. The parents did everything the right way, and they have no regrets.”
Bertolino’s statement came hours after Gabby’s parents filed a lawsuit against the late Brian and his parents – Christopher and Roberta Laundrie – over her death. In their civil suit, Nichole Schmidt, 41-year-old mother of the van-life blogger, and her former husband Joseph Petito, 42, have accused the Laundries of hiding the truth of their daughter’s death and alleged they “acted with malice or great indifference”.
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Their attorney Patrick Reilly claimed in court as reported by The Daily Mail, “This is case not simply about the silence of Robert and Christopher Laundrie who knew their son had brutally murdered Gabby Petito. It's about a course of conduct that they committed from when they learned on August 28, 2021 that their son had brutally murdered Gabby Petito.”
Gabby and Brian had reportedly embarked on a cross-country road trip in a van in July 2021. However, she was reported missing by her mother in August after she did not contact her for days. Soon after, a massive search operation was launched and authorities also seized the van from the Laundries’ house as Brian had returned from the trip on September 1 alone. But the young man declined to talk to the authorities.
Later in September, Gabby’s remains were found at the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming. She died due to “blunt-force injuries to the head and neck, with manual strangulation”. But before her killer was found, Brian went missing and was found dead in October. It was found that he murdered his girlfriend before taking his own life.
On Wednesday morning, Gabby’s parents sued the Laundries, who in response filed a motion to dissolve it. Bertolino repeated what he had said earlier, “I don't know exactly what Brian had said to his parents. I had said publicly that what Brian told me was privileged. I was not going to share it. I had conversations with Brian. I had conversations with Chris and Roberta. I had conversations with them separately and I had conversations with them together. So, it's not for me to comment at this point in time what Chris and Roberta knew,” before adding, “I can tell you what I knew … perhaps, one day what Brian knew, but none of that's gonna happen tonight on this show.”
The lawyer also dismissed the allegations that Brian’s parents helped him escape. He stated, “Chris and Roberta did nothing but stay in their home. There was speculation that there were burner phones, that we were dressing him up in funny outfits and sending him across the Mexican border, sending him across certain bodies of water to other countries in the Bahamas or perhaps out on the Appalachian trail. All of that was fill-it work for the networks that had to fill in some time 24/7.”
On the other hand, Gabby’s relatives said in response to the Laundries’ motion, “It is believed and therefore averred that on or about August 28, 2021, Brian Laundrie advised his parents Christopher Laundrie and Roberta Laundrie that he had murdered Gabrielle Petito. On that same date, Christopher Laundrie and Roberta Laundrie spoke with Attorney Steve Bertolino and sent him a retainer on September 2, 2021.”
“While Gabrielle Petito's family was suffering, the Laundrie family went on vacation to Fort DeSoto Park on September 6-7, 2021. They went on vacation knowing that Brian Laundrie murdered Gabrielle Petito, it is believed they knew where her body was located. In an effort to avoid any contact with Nichole Schmidt, on or about September 10, 2021, Roberta Laundrie blocked Nichole Schmidt on her cellular phone such that neither phone nor texts could be delivered, and she blocked her on Facebook,” the legal team added.
Meanwhile, Sarasota County Circuit Court Judge Hunter W Carroll who heard both sides has reportedly said that he will announce his decision in a few days, and if it comes in favor of Gabby’s parents, a trial is expected to happen next year.