Judge postpones Laundrie civil trial until 2024

(Gabby Petito / Instagram)
Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 5:38 PM EDT
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Following weeks of motions involving the scope of evidence in the civil trial against the family of Brian Laundrie, the judge in the case has moved the trial to 2024 to allow both sides time to prepare.

Judge Danielle Brewer signed off on a two week window starting May 13, 2024 for the case to proceed. The case was initially set to go to trail in Aug. 2023 but citing a wider scope of evidence that was being asked for, the judge suggested the new trial date. Gabby Petito’s remains were found at a national forest in Wyoming, and her death was ruled a homicide. The FBI says before taking his own life, Brian Laundrie wrote in a notebook he was responsible for his fiancée’s death.

The family of Gabby Petito is suing the Laundries for emotional distress in relation to Gabby Petito’s death during a 2021 road trip with her fiancé, Brian Laundrie.

The Petito/Schimdt family attorney Patrick Reilly has been seeking the entrance of a letter from Robert Laundrie to Brian Laundrie pledging assistance such as “helping him get out of prison, getting a shovel and some other things,” according to CNN. Reilly said the envelope read “burn after reading” but it was found among Brian’s belongings after his remains were discovered. Roberta Laundrie later issued a statement saying the contents of the letter were being taken out of context and that the phrase “burn after reading” was from a book they had both read.

In the letter, Roberta Laundrie, allegedly offers to bring a shovel to help “bury the body,” according to the attorney for the parents of Brian’s fiancée, Gabby Petito.

In an affidavit filed earlier this month, Roberta Laundrie says she wrote the letter “on or about the end of May 2021,” before Brian and Gabby left on their ill-fated cross country trek that ended in Gabby’s death.

She says certain phrases in the letter, which has never been made public, have been taken out of context. “All of the words taken together and in the context of the reason the letter was written show there is no connection” between Christopher and Roberta Laundrie, and Gabby’s murder.

The agreement to postpone the trial was unanimous between all parties in the case.

The next hearing in the case is set for May 24, 2023.