Domestic Violence Crime Bill Inspired by Gabby Petito Case Headed to Desantis

( – Gabby Petito’s parents recently settled a lawsuit in Sarasota, Florida, with Brian Laundrie’s family, the man who killed their daughter. Now, they have received more good news. The Florida legislature passed a domestic violence bill inspired by their daughter.

On March 6, the Protection of Children and Victims of Crime bill, SB 1224, passed Florida’s Senate and House. Legislators in both chambers unanimously voted to pass the bill. Gabby’s father, Joseph Petito, pushed lawmakers to include some language in the bill.

If Governor Ron DeSantis signs SB 1224 into law, it would require law enforcement officers to undergo training to learn how to assess if a domestic violence victim is at high risk of serious injury or death. Gabby’s fiancé, Brian Laundrie, confessed to killing her in a suicide note. He strangled her while they were camping in Wyoming’s Bridger-Teton National Forest.

The murder came weeks after the couple had an interaction with Utah police after people called 911 and said they saw a man hit a woman on the street. The police characterized the incident as a mental health episode, not domestic violence.

The Florida bill would require officers to establish a lethality assessment protocol (LAP) and ask the victim 12 questions when they encounter a domestic violence situation.

  1. Did the suspect/aggressor ever threaten you or use a weapon against you?
  2. Did the suspect/aggressor threaten to murder you or your kids?
  3. Do you think the suspect/aggressor will try to murder you?
  4. Have you ever been choked by the suspect/aggressor, or have they tried to choke you?
  5. Does the suspect/aggressor control most activities, or are they often jealous?
  6. Does the suspect/aggressor have a gun? If not, could they easily obtain a gun?
  7. Did you and the suspect/aggressor separate after living together?
  8. Does the suspect/aggressor have a job?
  9. Has the suspect/aggressor left threatening messages, spied on, or followed you?
  10. Do you have a child who the suspect/aggressor thinks is not their biological child?
  11. Has the suspect/aggressor ever attempted suicide?
  12.  Are you worried about anything else?

Gabby’s father said that when he sees her one day, he wants to ask her if he made her proud. “Hopefully, when this is all over, she’ll say yes,” he said.

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