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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

East Idaho prosecutors seeking death penalty against Lori Vallow Daybell

Lori Vallow Daybell glances at the camera during a hearing March 6, 2020, in Rexburg, Idaho.  (John Roark/Idaho Falls Post Register)
By Nate Eaton Idaho Statesman

ST. ANTHONY, Idaho – Prosecutors will pursue the death penalty against Lori Vallow Daybell and want her tried with her husband in January.

In motions filed late Monday, Fremont County Prosecuting Attorney Lindsay Blake and Madison County Prosecuting Attorney Rob Wood say that if Lori is convicted “for any of the counts of first degree murder and/or any of the counts of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder,” they will seek the death penalty as a sentencing option.

Chad and Lori Daybell are charged with multiple counts of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder in the deaths of 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow, 16-year-old Tylee Ryan – two of Lori’s children – and Chad’s first wife, Tammy Daybell. Prosecutors are also pursuing the death penalty in Chad’s case.

The prosecutors cited the following reasons why Lori and Chad Daybell are eligible for the death penalty:

  • The alleged murders were “committed for remuneration” (financial gain).
  • The alleged murders were “especially heinous, atrocious, cruel or manifesting exceptional depravity.”
  • The defendant exhibited “an utter disregard for human life.”
  • The defendant has exhibited “a propensity to commit murder and will probably constitute a continuing threat to society.”

In a separate motion, prosecutors are asking Judge Steven Boyce to move Lori’s trial from October to January to coincide with Chad’s. The cases are currently conjoined, but Lori did not waive her right to a speedy trial last month and legally must be tried within six months of arraignment. Boyce scheduled her trial to begin three months before her husband’s.

Prosecutors argue that witnesses and evidence in both trials are the same and it will be more cost-effective to hold them together, as proceedings are expected to last 10 weeks.

Chad and Lori Daybell have pleaded not guilty to all charges.