Bellevue police arrest Gabriella Laws, 18, and Joshua Fithian,18, in connection with a January assault and attempted murder during an apparent family dispute.
On January 17th Bellevue Police and Bellevue Fire were called to 4507 Longview Street for an assault of an adult male. Robert Laws was reportedly found suffering from a serious head injury. The wife of Robert Laws, Maria Laws, allegedly heard a loud noise in the hallway of her home.
Upon investigating the noise, Maria found a wooden rod lying in the hallway and found Robert with severe head injuries in bed. Maria immediately called 911. Police also observed a metal meat tenderizer on the right side of the bed.
Maria told officers that she believed her daughter Gabriella and her boyfriend, Fithian, might have something to do with what happened.
After Robert was transported to the hospital, a call for service indicated that Gabriella was attempting to meet up with her boyfriend in the parking lot of a grocery store near 36th Street and Highway 370. Officers located both teens at Fithian’s residence located in the Bellevue Hills Apartment Complex.
Officers questioned Fithian who indicated that he, Maria, Robert and Gabriella had a talk regarding Fithian sneaking in and out of the house. Fithian reportedly "admitted he got mouthy with Maria because he finds these conversations annoying because he is over at the house all the time anyway." Fithian was instructed by Robert to not be in the house between midnight and 7 a.m.
According to Fithian, after dinner, he and Gabriella went to the basement until 12:45 a.m. Fithian claims he left through a window because he was there after hours. Gabriella stated insistently that Fithian left through the front door of the residence. Fithian denied any involvement in the incident and claimed he was woken up by Gabriella telling him something had happened through a social media platform.
During questioning of who was in the house during the incident, Gabriella stated that “I mean I don’t think it was my mom, and I don’t know, I didn’t do it but if I did in my sleep I don’t know.” As the investigation continued, an officer told Gabriella that the injuries to her father were severe and she reportedly did not appear surprised or concerned. When asked if she would be capable of doing that to her dad, even accidentally, Gabriella responded with “I hope not."
When asked to clarify her response she stated that “well if I did, well not, I mean I hope I would have never done that.” When reportedly informed that her father may not make it, Gabriella reportedly did not have an overt emotional response.
Gabriella’s DNA was taken to be compared to the wooden rod and meat tenderizer found at the scene of the incident.
The search warrant stated that “it should be noted that since two items were used as possible weapons, the closet rod and the meat tenderizer, it is possible that more than one assailant assaulted Robert.”
A search warrant, filed March 11, in Sarpy County also sought to collect the DNA of Joshua Fithian.
On February 10th detectives spoke with Robert at the Madonna Rehabilitation Center who said he did not remember who was responsible; however, he thinks that Joshua may have been responsible based on the previous argument, according to the search warrant affidavit.
On January 20th a protection order was filed against Joshua Fithian by Maria and Robert Laws. It details out three incidents including the assault on January 17th. The protection order described an incident the morning before the assault where Fithian was overheard saying that “I’m going to say shut the f up. I’m not going anywhere.” According to the protection order affidavit, the night before the assault, at dinner, Fithian told Gabriella’s parents that “he was going to do everything possible to get Gabby out of here.”
Joshua Fithian and Gabriella Laws were both booked for Criminal Attempt-First Degree Murder, First Degree Assault, Second Degree Assualt, Use Of A Weapon To Commit A Felony and Conspiracy To Commit First Degree Murder. The warrants for their arrests were signed on May 7th. All charges are felonies in the State of Nebraska.
Both suspects are being held without bail in the Sarpy County Jail.