Brian Laundrie’s lawyer asks for copies of texts, calls amid legal battle with Gabby Petito’s parents
MOAB, UTAH: In the midst of the court case with Gabby Petito's parents, the lawyer defending Brian Laundrie's family has put forward a fresh demand. Steve Bertolino is requesting copies of all messages and other phone records sent and received by the Bertolino family over a six-month period in 2021. Gabby's parents collected these records as part of their civil lawsuit.
Pat Reilly, the lawyer representing the Petitos, received a court order earlier this year requesting AT&T provide phone information from Brian, Christopher, and Roberta Laundrie between July 2, 2021, and November 13, 2021.
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What did Steve Bertolino say?
The Laundries are accused of causing emotional distress to Gabby's parents and attempting to aid Brian in fleeing after he fatally strangled Gabby during their tragic "van life" road trip, according to Gabby's parents. Steve Bertolino was added to the lawsuit in December 2022; he sought copies of the AT&T documents last Thursday. "The plaintiffs have no proof of what they have alleged in their court filings," he said to Fox News Digital on Monday, April 24. "Pat Reilly can seek high and low, but he will not find a scintilla of admissible evidence to support anything beyond conjecture."
According to the lawsuit, when Bertolino made a statement to the public on September 14, 2021, Laundrie, his parents, and their attorney were aware that Gabby had already died. The statement reads "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." On September 19, just a few days after she was last seen alive, Gabby's bones were discovered in Wyoming's Grand Teton National Park.
Reilly asked for the handwritten letter
Laundrie reportedly killed the vlogger around August 28. The body of Laundrie was discovered on October 20—one month later—not far from the Laundrie family home in North Port, Florida, at the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park. According to the FBI, Laundrie shot himself in the head and then died. A handwritten suicide note was discovered near his decaying remains, along with a confession kept in a dry bag and other personal stuff. In addition, Reilly has asked the court to order the Laundries' parents to produce a letter in which Roberta allegedly offered to lend her son a shovel so he could bury anything. "I don't feel comfortable summarizing the letter," he told the outlet at the time. "The content is very specific and best read when available. If my belief as to the time it was written is accurate, it shows that at least Roberta Laundrie knew of Gabby's murder before Gabby's body was located. The rest of the notebook contained letters to his family." Roberta's letter didn't have a date, however, Reilly stated, "the content of the letter seems to indicate that it was written after Gabby's death."
When is the next court date?
The Laundries, however, have argued that the letter was written ahead of Gabby and their son's cross-country trip and had nothing to do with Gabby's death. Gabby's parents contacted the Laundries earlier this month for financial information in the weeks leading up to her death. Everyone is scheduled to appear in court again on May 24. Chris and Roberta Laundrie have not been charged in relation to Gabby's death.