While the FBI has now revealed they are satisfied that Brian Laundrie murdered Gabby Petito, it’s worth remembering the fugitive was only ever charged with one thing: bank fraud.
According to the indictment, he had committed “Use of Unauthorized Access Devices” — spending over $1,000 using a Capitol One debit card that didn’t belong to him. This was widely assumed to be Gabby’s card that he was using after her death — another piece of evidence pointing to his guilt in her murder.
The charges were nowhere near murder, but they helped with manhunt; it’s easier to search for a fugitive with an arrest warrant than just a person of interest. Now, however, even those charges are going away — the Wyoming US Attorney’s office just dismissed them.
Related: Gabby Petito Case Review Reveals ‘Several Unintentional Mistakes’ Made By Moab Police
Federal prosecutors made the request on Tuesday, and in a filing late Wednesday night, US District Court Chief Judge Scott Skavdahl granted the motion to dismiss “for the reason that the Defendant is deceased.”
Makes sense. We mean, if they were going to try to convict him posthumously for bank fraud, why not for murder? They certainly seem to have the evidence. According to the FBI, Brian admitted to killing his fiancée in a note written before his death by suicide.
Posthumous trials are almost never done, considering the costs — after all, any sentencing is meaningless. There are reasons to go through with them, like exonerating another person who was wrongfully convicted for the crime, for instance. But in this case, Brian was the only person ever even named a person of interest.
So unless prosecutors are going to go after his parents for their role in his evasion of police… it seems like legally this case is really and truly closed.
[Image via Gabby Petito/Instagram.]