The disturbing Pettit murder case

Stanislaus County Superior Court

Editor’s note: Brandon was officially named on October 19, 2022. PettitAfter an appeals court ruled that his statements to police were not admissible at his trial, the conviction of ‘James’ was overturned. Prosecutors have stated that they intend to retry this case.

On August 8, 2013, in the early morning hours, first responders were called for a house fire in Modesto (California). Scott and Janet Pettit Investigators quickly discovered that the fire was not accidental, as they found the bodies inside.

After seeing fire coming from an upstairs window at 3 AM, neighbors called 911.

The Scorched Bedroom

Stanislaus County Superior Court

The master bedroom of Pettit’s home, as seen here, was in flames.

Fiery Destruction

Stanislaus County Superior Court

Janet Pettit, Scott, and their bodies were discovered in their bedroom. Investigators discovered that Scott and Janet had been shot seven times. The fire was used as a cover-up.

The Pettits

Lauren Pettit

Janet Pettit and Scott Pettit were loved by the community. Janet was a neonatal nurse and Scott owned a local martial art studio.

Precious Cars

Mary Vecchione

Scott Pettit was well known for his love of cars. He loved cars. He was seen here driving his 1961 Corvette in the parade.

A Suspect in the Familie

Lauren Pettit

As the investigation into Pettits’ deaths continued, suspicions fell on Brandon Pettit and Scott Pettit’s adult son. Here he is with his father in a younger age.

The Hitman?

Modesto Police Department

Investigators concluded that Brandon Pettit had hired Felix Valverde to carry out the murders. 

The Clues

Stanislaus County Superior Court

Detectives searched Felix Valverde’s home and found important evidence including wallets belonging Scott Pettit and Janet Pettit.

The Shell Casings

Stanislaus County Superior Court

These seven spent shell casings that were hidden in a planter were also found outside Felix Valverde’s home. The total number of shots against the Pettits was seven.

The Key to the Case

Stanislaus County Superior Court

Perhaps the most important piece of evidence found at Felix Valverde’s apartment was the keys to Scott Pettit and Janet Pettit’s Modesto house.

A Son is Accused

Modesto Police Department

Four days after the murders, Brandon Pettit and Felix Valverde were arrested and charged with the murders Scott and Janet Pettit.

A Sister’s Fight

Lauren Pettit

Lauren Pettit is Brandon Pettit’s younger sister. Lauren is shown between Scott and Janet. She strongly believes that her brother, Brandon, is innocent. She claims that Brandon loved his parents and would not have wanted them to die. Brandon was finally tried in September 2020 after his arrest seven years ago. Lauren has stood beside her brother through it all.

The Motive

Lauren Pettit

Prosecutors argued that Brandon Pettit was motivated by financial gain at his trial. They stated to the jury that Brandon hoped to inherit his parents life insurance and sell his father’s old cars.

Million-Dollar Promise

CBS News

Brandon Pettit was a high school friend of Sarah Wilson. He promised him a million-dollar house not long before the murders. She also testified that Brandon sent her a text just hours before the murders saying he would buy it. Breast augmentation surgery Christmas.

A Son Convicted

North Kern State Prison

Brandon Pettit was convicted in September 2020 of the murders of his parents. He was sentenced for two life terms, with no possibility of parole. Felix Valverde pleaded not guilty but has yet to stand trial.

A Daughter Goes to Heaven

Lauren Pettit

Lauren Pettit continues to believe in her brother’s innocence and mourns the loss her mother and father.

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