Vanessa Bryant was joined by two celeb supporters — singers Ciara and Monica — in Los Angeles federal courtroom Monday as her trial over graphic pictures of the helicopter crash that killed her NBA star husband and 13-year-old daughter stretched into its ninth day.
The Grammy-winning artists sat behind Bryant, 40, as she listened to testimony from Captain William Jaegar, an inner affairs officer with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Division, who was questioned a couple of probe tied to the pictures.
Bryant, sporting a white high, an extended black skirt, and heels, was flanked by her mannequin daughter Natalia Bryant, 19, who was noticed sporting a black swimsuit and strolling arm-in-arm with a younger, unidentified man.
Every time graphic testimony got here up about stays discovered on the crash website, the entourage left the courtroom and solely returned when Bryant’s legal professional signaled it was over.
Bryant is suing Los Angeles County for invasion of privateness over the pictures of the tragic crash that killed her Lakers legend husband, Kobe Bryant, 41, their daughter Gianna and 7 others in Calabasas, California in Jan. 2020.
Jaeger was questioned about an investigation the interior affairs workplace carried out into 5 deputies over pictures taken of the crime scene.
One of many officers investigated was Deputy Joey Cruz, who confirmed the ugly photos to a bartender in Norwalk, Calif. The bartender, Victor Gutierrez, beforehand testified that Cruz let him see disturbing photographs that included severed physique elements strewn throughout a hillside in Calabasas.
Cruz, in testimony final week, admitted that he had shared the photographs with Gutierrez, however denied displaying different patrons photos of Kobe Bryant’s torso on his cellular phone.
The inner affairs probe discovered Cruz and different deputies violated a number of division insurance policies over the way in which they dealt with the crash photos and the rebuke will stay of their personnel information, Jaeger informed the courtroom.
Allegations in opposition to one other deputy, Doug Johnson, have been discovered to be “unfounded,” Jaeger testified as a result of it was his responsibility to take pictures as the primary officer to reply to the crash website.
Johnson, who took the stand throughout the third day of trial, mentioned he took 25 photos on the crash website and texted them to 2 firefighters that he believed have been excessive up in command.
A few third of his photos have been close-up photographs of physique elements, he testified.
Simply after 11 a.m. native time, the plaintiffs rested their case and the protection referred to as their first witness, LA County Hearth Chief Anthony Marrone – who admitted throughout cross-examination he was unaware that one in every of his captains had taken inappropriate pictures of the victims’ stays.
“I gave very direct, particular orders to be delicate with the images that they took… I needed to verify our personnel exercised sensitivity with the pictures,” Marrone recalled telling Drew Smith, the battalion chief on the crash website.
Marrone testified he anticipated Smith to relay the directive to different first responders on the scene.
Throughout cross-examination, Jerry Jackson, the legal professional representing Bryant’s co-plaintiff Chris Chester, performed a July 2020 deposition from Johnson, who testified he took a hearth captain across the scene and identified stays strewn throughout the crash website.
The hearth captain then snapped pictures of the stays, together with a torso that’s believed to be Kobe Bryant’s, Johnson mentioned within the deposition.
When requested concerning the testimony, Marrone mentioned that was the primary time he heard that one in every of his hearth captains took pictures of the stays.
“I’ve not seen this earlier than,” Marrone testified when he learn over Johnson’s deposition.
Attorneys for Vanessa Bryant have alleged that county officers inappropriately shared the non-public photos, inflicting her “extreme emotional misery” that “compounded the trauma of dropping Kobe and Gianna.”