Related video above: ‘Gut-wrenching’: Parents of Gabby Petito, Brian Laundrie meet for first time since Petito’s murder
TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — An attorney for the family of Gabby Petito’s parents filed a motion to force the testimony of Steven Bertolino, the attorney of the Laundrie family.
The family wants to know what information Brian Laundrie told Bertolino after Petito’s death.
The motion, which was filed Thursday evening, has attached the letter that was found in Brian’s notebook in which he admitted to killing Gabby. The Petitos claim that because Brian confessed to the murder, the attorney-client privilege between him and Bertolino was “waived by the client,” according to the documents.
“Clearly, Brian Laundrie had no such expectation of privacy in authorizing a confession and leaving it in his backpack to be found following his death,” the motion reads. Therefore, the family says Bertolino can’t invoke attorney-client privilege to avoid answering questions about what he was told by Brian.
The motion claims Bertolino cannot invoke attorney-client privilege on behalf of himself.
“Part of our case is our allegation that the Laundries and Bertolino knew Gabby was deceased and where her body was located,” Pat Reilly, attorney for the Petito family, told 8 On Your Side in a statement. “I believe Brian Laundrie told Bertolino both of those things.”
“This motion presents some very intricate and important legal issues that cannot be decided in a roundtable discussion like your podcast,” Bertolino said in a statement to WFLA’s J.B. Biunno. “Although I have no doubt that you and your listeners are highly educated, and can reasonably discuss the legal ramifications and issues presented by this motion. I will leave this one to the Court without further comment.”
The Petito family accuses the Laundries and Bertolino of knowing Gabby was dead and where her body was located when they issued a statement with “hope that Gabrielle Petito would be ‘reunited’ with her family,” according to documents.
During a deposition earlier this month, Christopher Laundrie testified that he spoke with Brian on Aug. 29, 2021 and that Brian was “frantic,” according to the motion. Brian reportedly said Gabby was “gone” and asked for his father to get him a lawyer.
During a deposition Oct. 17, Bertolino testified that Christopher Laundrie did speak to Brian, who advised his father to get him a lawyer, according to the documents.
Gabby Petito was found dead Sept. 19, 2021 in Grand Teton National Forest in Wyoming. Brian Laundrie took is own life in late October 2021.
The new motion will require a hearing in front of Judge Danielle Brewer in Sarasota County Circuit Court, but a date for that hearing has not yet been set.
The civil trial is scheduled to begin in May 2024.