Virginia Beach, Va. – Virginia Beach prosecutors have sent subpoenas to Twitter for online videos posted by a 21-year-old man who died in a bizarre car accident, and for his friend who is accused of capitalizing on the tragedy by pilfering his buddy’s $3,000 camera.
NewsChannel 3 first disclosed the series of videos from Twitter’s “Vine” app during our investigation into Chris Pardee’s death. Three people with Chris on June 8 say he climbed out of a moving car and tumbled to the pavement, possibly trying a stunt called “car surfing.” Police believe that, and never charged anyone with the death. Chris’ mother, Diane Pardee, doesn’t buy those stories and has been pushing police to dig deeper.
NewsChannel 3 obtained several videos showing the 19-year-old designated driver had been drinking that night. Court records show she was over the limit for teen drivers, but police let her go. Later, police charged her with underage possession of alcohol, but then dropped the matter in court. On the night NewsChannel 3’s investigation aired, police re-filed the charges, and they announced an internal investigation into why officers didn’t charge her with drinking and driving.
This week, Diane convinced police to analyze the clothes Chris was wearing, clothes that, to her, look like Chris had been in a scuffle. She also worried that a softball bat in her garage had bits of blood and hair on it, and police took that as well.
Court records show that after NewsChannel 3 opened an investigation, prosecutors began sending subpoenas for online videos and phone records for Chris and Erin Robertson, the man accused of stealing Chris’ camera while Chris was on his deathbed. Court records show Erin was caught on video pawning the camera.
The videos taken around the time of Chris’ death show what you might expect, rowdy, gregarious behavior among young friends. But they also show Erin, with a history of marijuana convictions, smoking what appears to be pot and blowing smoke in a cat’s face. The videos also show lots of drinking the night Chris was hurt. Chris’ cell phone recorded a flurry of calls and texts throughout the night, including some calls that were made or received while he was in a coma. His mother is not sure who was using his phone in those hours.
Lawyers in court records say they are continuing a “forensic analysis” on the phone. Erin Robertson did not respond to a certified letter sent to his home by NewsChannel 3. The Oceanfront business where he told court officials he worked said he left the job months ago.
Prosecutors say if they convict Erin for theft, they will tell a jury about his history of convictions for theft, fraud, assault, alcohol and drugs.