Gabby Petito’s boyfriend Brian Laundrie: why he isn’t talking

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Gabby Petito's boyfriend Brian Laundrie: why he isn't talking

Critics have slammed Gabby Petito’s boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, for staying mum in the wake of her puzzling disappearance — but legal experts say it may be the right call.

“I am never confident my client had nothing to do with anything,” said attorney Ron Kuby. “I don’t believe my clients when they say they’re guilty. I don’t believe my clients when they say they’re innocent. The best legal advice is to say nothing.”

Laundrie returned to Florida in the couple’s van without Petito on Sept. 1. He didn’t report her missing and refused to speak to her family or the police. He has maintained that silence even as Petito’s distraught parents have publicly pleaded with him to cooperate with authorities.

Even though there are several scenarios that would potentially absolve Laundrie of foul play, Kuby said he’d still be cautious about letting him open his mouth. She could have accidentally fallen to her death and Laundrie feared he’d be blamed for it. Or perhaps Petito disappeared to create a social media frenzy that would enhance her blogger profile, and he was sworn to secrecy.

Brian Laundrie
Brian Laundrie returned to Florida in the couple’s van without Petito on Sept. 1.Instagram

“These are possibilities consistent with innocence, but no one ever talked themselves out of trouble in talking to the police,” he said.

He conceded that this guidance can be a PR nightmare, but that public condemnation is preferable to disclosing information that gets a suspect convicted.

“From a moral standpoint, from an ethical standpoint, from a duty to treat others in a kind way, it’s a gross violation of society norms,” Kuby said of Laundrie’s silence. “This is of course is why people hate lawyers.”

Gabby Petito
Petito, seen here with Laundrie in Canyonland National Park, did not return home with her boyfriend.
Instagram

Former Manhattan prosecutor-turned-defense lawyer Mark Bederow said there are a lot of good reasons for Laundrie not to talk — especially if he’s “guilty of something horrible.”

Bederow said Laundrie’s attorney has to balance bad optics with the risk of self-incrimination.

Laundrie and Petito were spotted on a police bodycam video in August after being pulled over.
Laundrie and Petito were spotted on a police bodycam video in August after being pulled over.
Moab Police Department via AP

“There’s no question that his behavior is extraordinarily suspicious and his decision now to stand quiet, although permissible under the law, looks terrible,” added Bederow. “But he’s doing nothing unlawful or legally inappropriate and it may be in his best interest.”

Jeffrey Lichtman, Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán’s attorney, said he would only let his client open his mouth if he were 100 percent certain he was innocent.

Gabby's stepmother, Tara Petito (left),  and her father, Joe Petito, react while the City of North Port Chief of Police Todd Garrison speaks during a news conference for their missing daughter Gabby Petito.
Gabby’s stepmother, Tara Petito (left), and her father, Joe Petito, react while North Port Chief of Police Todd Garrison speaks during a news conference on their missing daughter, Gabby Petito.
Octavio Jones/Getty Images

“If you have an alibi, and you know your client didn’t do it, of course, you’re going to let them talk because you want them to drop him as a target,” he said. But if you’re not sure, even though “the guy looks wildly guilty right now,” it’s safer to stay quiet, he said.

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