Gabby Petito: 911 Call “Hitting Her”

Here’s what the 911 caller said that led to the traffic stop of Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie:

A male caller who was driving by Gabby and Brian outside the Moonflower store in Moab Utah on August 12, 2021 called 911 to “report a domestic disturbance…gentlemen slapping the girl, ran up and down the street, proceeded to hit her and they hopped into the car and they drove off…just drove off right on main street…”.

Listen to the 911 call here.

When people are so enraged or out of control as to be violent in public, it indicates a history of violence between the people involved. This is not an isolated incident. In this case, in my opinion, the violence probably escalated after the traffic stop and resulted in further harm to Gabby. Just as Gabby said to the officer during the traffic stop, “he wouldn’t let me in the car, until I calmed down..” Tragically, he may have just left her or violence led to her death.

Again, I hope this case results in better training for officers in domestic violence situations. Her crying at the scene, continued excuses on behalf of Brian and taking the blame are all red flags. Additionally, for example, did anyone ask why Gabby was anxious around Brian? Did anyone ask why Brian had to walk away from Gabby to cool off? Where did Brian learn to walk away?

Simply, my opinion, what say you?

Very sad.

See something, say something.

BTW, here’s an idea for a new federal law, from someone who used to prosecute DV cases, require 911 operators to play, repeat verbatim or transcribe the 911 call to the officer who is assigned the call. Had the officers known that witnesses saw Brian slapping and hitting Gabby, hopefully, the officers would have responded differently and Gabby would be alive today. Call it Gabby’s Law.


Gabby Petito: Police BodyCam Video of Traffic Stop

Tragically, 22 year old Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito’s remains were found today in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming after her being reported missing for weeks. She was on a van trip with her fiance Brian Laundrie. He returned home to Florida weeks ago in the Gabby’s van without Gabby. He decided not to talk to the police regarding Gabby’s whereabouts, although, he has a right to remain silent. As of last Tuesday, Brian is now missing. The cause of Ms. Petito’s death has not yet been determined.

Here is the full video from the officers bodycam of the traffic stop of Brian and Gabby weeks before she was reported missing. Traffic stop begins at 19:34 and was posted on youtube by Crime & Justice by Mentour lawyer. (posted here for educational purposes only).

As a former domestic violence prosecutor, may this video result in better training and response of officers in the handling of possible domestic violence situations (and Miranda rights training). Simply, my opinion.

May Ms. Petito rest in peace. My condolences to her family and loved ones.


Oscar Pistorius: Bail Unlikely In US

The Chief Magistrate Nair finds Oscar Pistorius has “made a case to be released on bail”. Bail is granted. Pistorius will await trial as a free man outside prison. The Magistrate found Pistorius was not a flight risk, no evidence he will intimidate witnesses and no propensity for violence. Based on those findings, bail was inevitable. A big victory for Pistorius. And, given he won’t be in custody, there will likely be no rush to trial. You can expect continuances and delays in the trial date.

This was a bail hearing, yet, the State remarkably failed to provide sufficient evidence to deny bail. For instance, evidence to support that Pistorius threatened to break someone’s legs, shot a gun in public, was violent in public or owns a home in Italy.

Pistorius’ affidavit made the difference in the bail hearing. Very risky move to lay out so many facts in an affidavit, but, it kept Pistorius out of jail. Also, it gave the defense an opportunity to plant seeds, lock in and question some State testimony before the State has had time to complete their investigation and the opportunity to potentially “influence” public opinion and fact finders. First impression does matter.

The Magistrate considered that Pistorius “reached out to try to meet the States case” in his affidavit with his “version under oath” unlike the “flimsy” denial affidavits he tends to get. However, the Magistrate did have problems with Pistorius’ affidavit. For instance, why Pistorius didn’t check with his girlfriend, the victim Reeva Steenkamp when he left the bed? Why Pistorius didn’t call out as to who was in the toilet? Why he put himself in danger when he went back to get his gun and return to the bathroom? Why the victim didn’t call out?

And, the Magistrate had serious problems with Investigator Botha and his investigative skills, although, he said, Botha is “not the States case”.

While we await the trial, you can expect much public debate about violence against women, the South African justice system, whether Pistorius is being treated like any other accused and whether Pistorius murdered Reeva Steenkamp.

Low bail for a premeditated murder case? Bail was set at $114k, surrender passport & guns, no alcohol and he can’t return to his home.

BTW, in the United States, most defendants accused of premeditated murder don’t get bail and bail hearings don’t last three days but rather 15 minutes in America’s crowded courtrooms. Also, many judges may have considered the repeated and unprovoked, reckless at best, shooting of someone behind a locked door as evidence of a propensity of violence to deny bail. And, most US prosecutors would have had evidence to prove a flight risk and the prior acts of violence, alleged above, when they request no bail.

Meanwhile, a 29-year-old women is dead. Shot 4 times by her boyfriend.

Next Court date June 4, 2013.

Simply my opinion, what say you?