With a nationwide manhunt underway for Brian Laundrie, the Gabby Petito case is drawing more attention than ever. Laundrie’s disappearance and the circumstances around it have brought attention to his parents, but a Florida statute may work to their advantage and lead to them not being charged in connection to Petito’s death.
Laundrie’s parents, Christopher and Roberta, have reacted oddly to the events of the Gabby Petito case. This prompted many to speculate they may have played a role in helping their son avoid authorities. One thing they’ve done is pick up their son’s Mustang on September 14 from the nature preserve authorities are now searching for Brian. They also did not report their son missing until the police showed up at their home on September 17.
However, charging the couple may not be possible. FOX News reports under Florida Statute 777.03, a person commits a felony offense when they assist an individual to evade detection, arrest, trial, or punishment after the fact. Despite that, the law largely protects relatives from being accessories.
Harvard law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz told FOX News many states have similar statutes because “there are a lot of people who think that parents’ obligation to children comes first. For example, a woman or a man have a right not to testify against their spouse. Now generally, that doesn’t apply to mother and child or father and child, but there are some people who think it should.”
Nonetheless, attorney Cory Baird told WESH-TV that “if they made misleading statements or lied to officers, obviously that’s a crime in Florida, and they’re not protected from that.”
Finally, Dershowitz cautions people against drawing any conclusions about Laundrie’s parents. As of now, we don’t know what they did or didn’t do.
Gabby Petito’s Father ‘Screamed’ Upon Hearing Brian Laundrie Refused to Speak to Police
Gabby Petito’s disappearance and death have garnered a lot of sympathy and understanding for her and her family. Understandably, Petito’s parents are devastated and upon learning Brian Laundrie refused to speak to police almost a week ago, her father “screamed.”
“I screamed…. I screamed. My wife couldn’t even console me,” Gabby’s father, Joe, said. “I thought the worst. That’s my baby.” Speaking to Dr. Phil about Gabby and everything that occurred so far, Joe expressed his frustration and how much Gabby meant to him. “She saved my life. I was going the wrong way in life. She made me into the person I am today. So I broke down. I was crying, I was screaming.”
Nevertheless, Joe manages to compose himself during the interview. Calming down, he elaborates on his anger, saying “I’m not allowed to contact him. I’m not allowed to be anywhere or go anywhere near him.” He then states even if he could, all it would do is distract him from Gabby. Because of that, he’s doing what he can for her sake.