Kobe Bryant Photo Trial
Deputy Testifies In Court …
I Sent Crash Pics To Cop During Video Game Session
8/16/2022 12:06 PM PT
Stunning revelation in the courtroom during the Kobe Bryant photo trial case Tuesday … a deputy testified that he sent another cop graphic pics from the crash site while the two were in the middle of a “Call Of Duty” gaming sesh.
Michael Russell — an L.A. County Sheriff’s Dept. deputy — says the exchange of the photos happened shortly after the Lakers legend and his daughter, Gianna, perished in the tragic, Jan. 2020 helicopter crash.
Russell, who claimed he had initially received the photos from fellow deputy Joey Cruz hours after the wreck, said he joined a video game party with Santa Clarita deputy Ben Sanchez the following day.
While the two were playing the first-person shooter game, Russell testified he told Sanchez he had the photos, and then asked if he wanted to see them. When the cop said yes, Russell said he sent them over.
Russell admitted in court that he had no business doing that. He also testified that he received nothing more than a minor write-up as punishment.
Cruz, meanwhile, also testified in court on Tuesday … and did admit to showing the photos to a bartender as well.
Cruz said he did it to relieve the stress he had been dealing with due to the situation — and testified that he did feel remorseful over it all.
Vanessa Bryant, who is suing for, among other things, emotional distress, was present in court — though she did leave the room for at least part of Cruz’s testimony.
The trial is expected to continue on throughout this week.