In the case of Gabby Petito’s disappearance and death, many of us have wondered: why isn’t Brian Laundrie being held accountable?
Obviously we still don’t know *for sure* what happened — despite his ongoing suspicious behavior. Right now, the only charge against him relates to unauthorized use of a debit card, a crime which obviously pales in comparison to the homicide that has taken place. Unfortunately, at the moment there isn’t much more law enforcement can do.
Related: Dog The Bounty Hunter Wades Through Swamp Searching For Brian
Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg explained the ins and outs of the situation to NewsNationNow, identifying the legal red tape that has prevented more serious charges so far. He shared:
“We have rules like, if we don’t file charges within 30 days of the arrest, then the guy goes free without any conditions until his trial. Also, we have speedy trial rules that say we’ve gotta try the case within 180 days — at least here in Florida — which is why prosecutors aren’t rushing to file charges yet.”
With Brian on the run, it makes sense that they would want to find him first before actually kicking off that timeline. They can’t get a trial started without a defendant.
Regarding the cause of death, which still hasn’t been released, he speculated that law enforcement would “keep that a secret until they’re able to talk to Brian and family” to gauge just how much they knew about the crime.
As for Brian’s parents — who currently face no charges, but have been the subject of ongoing suspicion — Aronberg stated:
“They have done everything possible to incriminate themselves in the court of public opinion. But in the court of the law, that is different, because under the law, to be charged as an accessory after the fact, you need to know that Brian committed a crime and then, you have to do something to prevent his punishment or his arrest.”
“So for example, if they sanitized the van, now that’ll get ’em hooked for a crime. If they hid evidence, if they bought him a plane ticket to get out of town because they knew he was involved in a crime, then you would see prosecutors getting ready to file charges right away. But we don’t have that evidence yet.”
“Yet” seems to be the key word there…
Related: Lawyer Says Brian Laundrie’s Family Believes He Is Still In Florida
Keeping their mouths shut may have protected Brian and his parents so far, but in this case, actions may just speak louder than words. Aronberg speculated:
“Even though Brian Laundrie had the Fifth Amendment right against self incrimination, at trial, his flight can come back to haunt him. Because the prosecutors can point to that — in fact, it’s even in some jury instructions, it says that if you flee, that is consciousness of guilt. And jurors hate it when defendants flee.”
Well, we will continue to hope that Brian is found quickly so he can actually face that jury in the future…
Watch Aronberg’s full interview from over the weekend (below):
Why hasn’t Brian Laundrie been charged with a more serious crime?
“I think it’s coming.” – Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg says.
He also explains why the full autopsy report hasn’t been released.
And what would it take for Brian’s parents to be charged? pic.twitter.com/d67uQ6xR8N
— Brian Entin (@BrianEntin) October 2, 2021
[Image via Gabby Petito/YouTube]