Gabby Petito’s mother, Nichole Schmidt, had four simple words to tell the Laundrie family attorney on Wednesday.
“His words are garbage,” she wrote in a text message. “Keep talking.”
Schmidt’s cutting remark was in response to a recent statement issued by the attorney, Steve Bertolino.
“While Brian Laundrie is currently charged with the unauthorized use of a debit card belonging to Gabby, Brian is only considered a person of interest in relation to Gabby Petito’s demise,” Bertolino wrote according to WFLA.
“At this time Brian is still missing, and when he is located, we will address the pending fraud charge against him.”
This news follows the release of Gabby Petito’s autopsy results on Tuesday.
“We hereby find the cause and manner of death to be: the cause, death by strangulation, and manner is homicide,” Teton County, Wyoming, Coroner Dr. Brent Blue said.
“By Wyoming state statute, no other information will be released about the autopsy.”
Brian Laundrie’s guilt in the case has been assumed by many, given that, although the two went together on a camping trip, only Laundrie returned shortly before going missing himself.
As was mentioned by Bertolino, Laundrie has also been charged with the unauthorized use of Gabby Petito’s debit card, further pointing to his possible guilt in her homicide.
If placed in Schmidt’s shoes, any parent could’ve had the same reaction she did.
However, it’s important to note that Brian Laundrie has a right to a presumption of innocence — no matter how damning the circumstantial evidence provided thus far may appear to be.
As uncomfortable as Bertolino’s words are, he is doing what any good attorney would do if placed in the same situation, defending his client’s rights.
If and when Brian Laundrie is apprehended, it would certainly be easy to demand he faces immediate justice.
But, the presumption of innocence is the essential bedrock of the American justice system and must be protected at great cost.
Our founders certainly believed so — even John Adams, before becoming president, once provided legal defense for British troops at the center of the Boston massacre.
Brian Laundrie, no matter how guilty or innocent he may be, has a legal right to the same defense.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.