More news in the Kobe Bryant photo trial, and it just keeps getting sadder and sadder.
We previously reported on the case as it opened last Wednesday with Vanessa Bryant’s lawyer, Luis Li, claiming the officers who took the photos did so “for a laugh like they were souvenirs,” adding that by doing so, they “poured salt into an unhealable wound.” The case comes after the 40-year-old mom expressed being left in mental torment following a look at one of the photographs, and living in fear that one day her daughters may see them.
Now, a Los Angeles fire captain who was at the scene of the helicopter crash and was allegedly told to photograph the scene, is testifying that the trauma of what he saw that day has stuck with him. During the Monday testimony, Brian Jordan denied ever improperly sharing the photos and said the memory of the event actually pushed him to his 2021 retirement. He explained:
“It was horrifying and what put me off the job.”
Related: Vanessa Ordered To Turn Over Four Years Of Therapy Transcripts
He added that he attempted to mentally block out the day, stating:
“I was there. I do not remember being there. Please stop describing the scene to me. Please refrain from taking my brain back to that crash site, I’m not sure what I was taking pictures of.”
The fire captain claimed to have deleted the photos from his devices and couldn’t recall all the specifics of what he saw. Jordan is accused of taking close-up, cropped shots of the remains of the nine victims who died in that day’s wreck. When asked if he took pictures of Kobe’s body parts, he asked to have a break and swiftly left the courtroom. Upon his return, he revealed:
“I have an image in my head that is not pleasant. The way that whole scene looked is going to haunt me forever.”
We genuinely hope those photos NEVER surface again for the sake of not only Kobe and Gianna’s memory, but for the loved ones he left behind. People reported Vanessa was seen with her head heavy in her hands frequently throughout the Monday trial.
Related: Vanessa & Natalia Honor Gianna On What Would Have Been Her 16th Birthday
Last Thursday, former bartender Victor Gutierrez took the stand claiming to have been shown photos of the basketball legend’s remains by deputy trainee Joey Cruz, according to USA Today. Additionally, Ralph Mendez Jr. testified, claiming he witnessed the whole thing and ended up filing a complaint with the sheriff’s department, as we had previously reported when Vanessa outed the officials who did so.
Footage was also shown of Victor and Joey at the bar looking at Joey’s phone and laughing, while Victor could be seen gesturing to his neck, head, and torso, which the Bryant family attorney claimed was in reference to the bodily remains left by the crash. USA Today reported that Victor denied these claims, exclaiming:
“You gotta be psycho to do that.”
Joey later admitted to attempting to show his niece the photos, but she refused to look. The deputy trainee was reprimanded at the time but remained on the force.
Wow, that’s a lot to take in. So horrific how the site was so utterly disrespected — we hope to see justice served! They had no business allegedly taking photos of the scene OR sharing them with others. What are your thoughts on the situation? Let us know in the comments (below).
[Images via Vanessa & Kobe Bryant/Instagram, ESPN/YouTube & WENN/Avalon]