Cameras will be allowed in the courtroom and the trial will be broadcast live on services such as the Law & Crime Network. The livestream can be viewed below.
Petito’s parents, Joseph Petito and Nichole Schmidt, filed a civil lawsuit in March through Sarasota County Circuit Court in Florida against Laundrie’s parents, Christopher and Roberta Laundrie. The lawsuit alleges that Laundrie informed his parents that he had killed Petito “on or about” on August 28, days before he disappeared, and that they planned to help him flee the country after the murder. According to the lawsuit, Petito’s family seeks damages for “intentional infliction of emotional distress.” Today’s hearing will see the judge, Hunter W. Carroll, hear arguments from both sides to determine whether the case will go to a jury next year.
Gabby Petito, a 22-year-old influencer, was murdered by Laundrie, her fiancé, during a van trip across the United States last summer. After Petito disappeared in late August, Laundrie returned to his parents’ home in North Port, Florida, where he refused to discuss Petito’s whereabouts.
When an arrest warrant was issued for Laundrie after he made charges on Petito’s credit card, Laundrie left his home in September and was reported missing. Petito’s remains were found in Bridger-Teton National Forest, Wyoming, on September 19, and an autopsy confirmed she died of strangulation. Laundrie’s remains were discovered October 20 at North Port’s Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park on October 20. According to FBI accounts, Laundrie died of a self-inflected gunshot wound to the head and confessed to killing Petito in a notebook found near her remains.
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