Kobe Bryant crash web site pics exchanged whereas deputies performed ‘Name of Obligation’


A Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy admitted in court docket Tuesday that he despatched graphic photographs of the Kobe Bryant helicopter crash web site to a colleague whereas the 2 have been taking part in “Name of Obligation.”

Dep. Mike Russell made the stunning revelation whereas being questioned on the stand as a part of a federal invasion-of-privacy lawsuit filed by the NBA star’s widow, Vanessa Bryant.

“No, I don’t discover useless our bodies entertaining or amusing,” Russell stated at one level throughout his testimony.

Russell recalled how, the day after the January 2020 tragedy, he was participating in a video gaming session and determined to ask Santa Clarita Dep. Ben Sanchez if he wished to see photos taken on the Calabasas, Calif., crash web site.

The civil lawsuit stemming from the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant, his daughter and 7 others continued Tuesday in LA County.
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Firefighters work the scene of a helicopter crash where former NBA basketball star Kobe Bryant died, in Calabasas, California.
Firefighters work the scene of the helicopter crash in Calabasas, California in January 2020.

When Sanchez advised him sure, Russell, who was lounging on a recliner, stated in court docket he texted him three or 4 photos of the wreckage.

Admitting there was no legit purpose to share the photographs, Russell stated he had made a “callous mistake.” Sanchez had no function within the investigation, he added.

He claimed he shared the photographs “in an effort to get by means of the stresses of the day earlier than.”

Russell testified that he had been despatched the photographs by one other deputy, Joey Cruz, who stated on the stand Monday that he regretted sharing photographs from the scene of the crash that killed the Lakers legend, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and 7 different individuals.

Cruz wrapped up his testimony Tuesday, and admitted that he had additionally proven the photographs to a bartender at an area watering gap. However he denied exhibiting different bar patrons Kobe Bryant’s torso on his mobile phone.

Vanessa Bryant’s attorneys once more performed footage of Cruz on the Baja California Bar and Grill, scrolling by means of his telephone and exhibiting his bartender pal disturbing photographs of physique elements strewn throughout the hillside in Calabasas.

The video elicited the identical emotional response from the grieving widow as when her attorneys first performed it in court docket earlier within the trial, sending her out of the courtroom in tears.

One other deputy, Nicholas Bonelli, later took the stand, recalling how he spoke with Kobe Bryant’s assistant the morning of the crash.

Bonelli, who’s a liaison between officers within the station and people within the area, testified the assistant referred to as to inquire if any accidents occurred as a result of it was bizarre to not hear from Bryant after a brief flight.

Vanessa Bryant, the widow of Kobe Bryant, leaves a federal courthouse in Los Angeles, Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022
Vanessa Bryant, the widow of Kobe Bryant, leaves a federal courthouse in Los Angeles, Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022

Bonelli stated he was proven a crash scene photograph, together with the picture of a lightweight skinned foot.

In the meantime, Russell additionally acknowledged {that a} three-paragraph memo he had written contained 5 false statements, together with one assertion that he had rapidly deleted the photographs.

No disciplinary motion was taken towards Russell by the sheriff’s division.

Vanessa Bryant, who was dressed head to toe in again, could possibly be seen at occasions whispering and writing notes to her lawyer and likewise unwrapping sweet.

She is predicted to take the stand later this week.

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