“Doomsday” pair cannot meet before triple murder trial

“Doomsday” pair cannot meet before triple murder trial

A court in Idaho has ruled that a couple charged in a peculiar triple murder case will not be permitted to meet in person to discuss strategy before their April trial.

During a motion hearing on Thursday, attorneys for Lori Vallow Daybell and Chad Daybell presented several requests to 7th District Judge Steven Boyce, including that the trial be delayed until 2024 – a request from Chad Daybell’s attorneys – and that the death penalty be removed from consideration – a request from Lori Vallow Daybell’s attorneys.

According to EastIdahoNews.com, the court denied some of the motions, such as delaying the trial, and indicated he will make written findings on the others later.

The complex criminal investigation began in 2019 when the two youngest children of Lori Vallow Daybell were reported missing. The investigation spanned four states and several months prior to the discovery of the children’s bodies in Chad Daybell’s yard in eastern Idaho.

Tuesday, August 16, 2022, Lori Vallow Daybell, seated to the right of an attorney, attends a hearing in the Fremont County Courthouse in St. Anthony, Idaho. Tony Blakeslee / AP

As part of a scheme to steal social security payments and insurance money, the couple allegedly plotted to murder her two children and his ex-wife using their end-of-the-world-focused religious beliefs. Since then, Lori Vallow Daybell has been referred to as a “doomsday mom.”

Lori Vallow Daybell and Chad Daybell pled not guilty to charges of murder, conspiracy, and grand theft in relation to the deaths of 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow and 17-year-old Tylee Ryan. They are also charged in relation to the death of Chad Daybell’s late wife, Tammy Daybell, in October 2019. If convicted, they might face the death penalty.

The experiment is scheduled to begin on April 3 and last for up to 10 weeks.

Rachel Smith, the prosecuting attorney for Madison County, urged the judge on Thursday to sequester the jury during the trial so that they are not affected by extraneous information or opinions about the case. Smith stated that sequestration is difficult but necessary given the case’s enormous attention.

She stated, “This case involves the death of two children and the death of a mother of multiple children,” “If there are no safeguards provided to jurors, given the attention of some of the citizen journalists on this case, we have real concerns about the integrity of this case.”

Jim Archibald, the attorney for Lori Vallow Daybell, and John Prior, the attorney for Chad Daybell, both objected to isolating the jurors, arguing that it would reduce the number of people ready to serve and that local police enforcement could provide appropriate security.

Boyce stated that he understood all sides’ perspectives, but denied the sequestration request.

Boyce stated, “I believe adequate steps can be put into place to not require sequestration during the course of the trial, and the court will take those steps very seriously,”

The attorney representing Chad Daybell also requested that the trial be postponed, stating that he is still awaiting the return of potential DNA evidence from the Idaho State Laboratory. Prior stated that the current schedule does not allow the defense sufficient time to conduct their own DNA testing.

The pair of Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell Photograph by Kay Woodcock/Facebook

“If I do not obtain this evidence, Mr. Daybell will file a claim of ineffective representation against me. And Chad, as much as I like him, will do it without hesitation “Prior stated. “Then this case will be turned over because I was not provided an opportunity to adequately prepare.”

However, the court refused to reschedule the trial date, stating that he had little choice because the two defendants are being prosecuted together and Lori Vallow Daybell had not forfeited her right to a speedy trial. Chad Daybell has forgone this privilege.

Boyce stated that he would not “force” Chad Daybell into a trial if he and Prior did not have sufficient time to analyze information favorable to their case.

“If we are on the eve of trial and the state has exculpatory evidence and did not provide Mr. Prior enough time, at that point, the cases may be severed,” Boyce explained.

The judge also denied the request of Lori Vallow Daybell’s attorneys for her and her husband to meet in person and by phone to discuss settlement choices and strategies.

Lindsey Blake, the prosecuting attorney for Fremont County, expressed serious reservations about the proposal, stating that if one defendant said something incriminating in front of the counsel for the other defendants, the attorneys would become witnesses in the case.

Boyce stated that the suggestion for a meeting was “an idea full of pitfalls,” and voted against the motion.

The judge stated that he will rule later on a second group of papers filed by Lori Vallow Daybell’s attorneys requesting that the death sentence be removed from consideration. The attorneys for Vallow Daybell argue that the death penalty procedure is defective, expensive, and biased in jury selection.

In November of 2019, law enforcement agents in Idaho began investigating the couple after extended family members reported the children missing. During this time, authorities say the parents lied about where their children were. Later, their bodies were discovered buried on the rural Idaho property of Chad Daybell.

Chad and Lori Daybell wed barely two weeks after Chad’s first wife, Tammy Daybell, sadly passed away. Tammy Daybell’s death was initially attributed to natural causes, but when Chad Daybell swiftly remarried, investigators became suspicious and unearthed her remains.

The five adult children of Daybell, certain of their father’s innocence, spoke out for the first time to “48 Hours.”

Emma Murray explains “My father needs someone to be a voice for him,” contributor Jonathan Vigliotti, “48 Hours” To inform others of what is true and what we know.

Murray continued, ” I think he was fooled in the worst, most deadly way possible.”

Vallow Daybell is additionally charged with conspiracy to commit murder in Arizona in relation to the death of her ex-husband Charles Vallow in July 2019. Alex Cox, brother of Vallow Daybell, shot and murdered him, claiming self-defense.

Legal actions in Arizona are on pause while the Idaho case is ongoing.

 

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