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The parents of Brian Laundrie are hoping to limit their testimony in an upcoming deposition to prevent them from being asked about “irrelevant matters” and protect them from “annoyance” and “embarrassment.”
The Laundries’ made the request to a civil judge in a motion for a protective order filed Thursday in Florida as part of an ongoing lawsuit filed against them by the parents of Gabby Petito.
"The public who followed the case and the plaintiffs are likely curious about Brian Laundrie's life, his last days, his interaction with his parents, and the thoughts and feelings experienced by his parents," the motion, obtained by local station WTVT, states. "But curiosity is not a reason to require the defendants to discuss such personal and heart-wrenching details. Rather, the discovery must be relevant to the cause of action at issue."
Authorities believe Brian Laundrie killed Petito, his 22-year-old fiancé, in August of 2021 during an ill-fated cross-country trip to visit the nation’s national parks. Her body was later discovered in the Grand Teton National Park in September of 2021. The van-life blogger had been strangled to death.
Petito’s parents, Joseph Petito and Nichole Schmidt sued Chris and Roberta Laundrie earlier this year after accusing them of keeping Brian’s whereabouts a secret in the days after the murder and trying to help him flee the country.
“Christopher Laundrie and Roberta Laundrie exhibited extreme and outrageous conduct which constitutes behavior, under the circumstances, which goes beyond all possible bounds of decency and is regarded as shocking, atrocious, and utterly intolerable in a civilized community,” according to the lawsuit, previously obtained by Oxygen.com.
Brian Laundrie’s remains were later found in a Florida nature preserve, along with a notebook allegedly claiming responsibility for Petito’s death. Authorities have said he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Chris and Roberta Laundrie are expected to sit for depositions in the case on Dec. 1 after they were pushed back earlier this month, according to Fox News.
But they are now hoping a judge will limit their deposition testimony after the new request to “protect” them “from annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, undue burden and expense,” according to the motion.
It also seeks to narrow the line of questioning down to specific window of time.
“[T]he focus of discovery should be limited in scope to the time period of August 27, 2021, through September 19, 2021, the time period between the death of Ms. Petito and when her body was found as alleged in the Amended Complaint, and further limited to information related to the outward actions or comments of the Defendants during that time period,” states the motion, also obtained by Law & Crime.
Petito’s family has accused the Laundries in the lawsuit of intentional infliction of emotional distress and pointed to a statement publicly released by the family in September of 2021, where they expressed “hope” that the search for Petito would be successful.
“For the Laundries to express their ‘hope’ that Gabrielle Petito was located and reunited with her family, at a time when they knew she had been murdered by their son was beyond outrageous,” the civil lawsuit states.
In the latest motion, the Laundries have agreed to discuss the statement issued but believe the plaintiffs also plan to ask about the “private history of the Laundrie family for purposes other than proving intentional infliction of emotional distress.”
A video call to discuss the motion has been scheduled for Nov. 22.
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