Cameras will be allowed into the courtroom, and the trial will be livestreamed 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 via Florida’s Sarasota County Circuit Court against the parents of Laundrie, Christopher and Roberta Laundrie. The suit alleges that Laundrie informed his parents he killed Petito “on or about,” August 28, days before she was reported missing, and that they were planning to help him flee the country after the murder. Per the lawsuit, Petito’s family are seeking damages for “intentional infliction of emotional distress.” The hearing today will see the judge, Hunter W. Carroll, hear arguments from both sides to determine if the case will move forward to a jury next year.
Gabby Petito, a 22 year-old influencer, was murdered by Laundrie, her fiancé, during a van trip they were taking across the U.S. in summer of last year. After Petito disappeared in late August, Laundrie returned to his parents house in North Port, Flo., 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 Sept. and was reported missing. Petito’s remains were found in Wyoming’s Bridger–Teton National Forest on Sept. 19, with an autopsy confirming she died from strangulation. Laundrie’s remains were discovered in Oct. 20 in North Port’s Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park on Oct. 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 his remains.