Jury finds Lori Vallow Daybell guilty of murdering 2 of her children

Jury finds Lori Vallow Daybell guilty of murdering 2 of her children

Lori Vallow Daybell Found Guilty of Murdering Children and Conspiring Against Romantic Rival. Lori Vallow Daybell has been convicted by a jury for the murder of her two children and her involvement in a plot to kill a romantic rival.

Jury finds Lori Vallow Daybell guilty of murdering 2 of her children

The verdict was announced in court after 3 p.m. ET, and the jurors were subsequently dismissed. A sentencing hearing has not been scheduled yet, and it may take several months before it takes place, according to Judge Steven Boyce. If sentenced, Vallow Daybell, aged 49, could potentially face life imprisonment. The trial has been closely watched, and it’s worth noting that Vallow Daybell and her husband, Chad Daybell, aged 54, have been indicted on multiple charges, but are being tried separately.

The reading of the verdict was live-streamed from the Ada County Courthouse in Boise, Idaho, which deviated from the trial’s main phase when Judge Boyce decided that only audio recordings would be released to avoid the dissemination of disturbing images.

The prosecution spent several weeks presenting its case against Vallow Daybell, providing jurors with graphic evidence from the crime scene where her children’s bodies were discovered. The trial spanned over a month; however, the defense team for Vallow Daybell made a surprising decision not to call any witnesses and rested its case just moments after the prosecution concluded its presentation.

Deliberations by the jury began on Thursday afternoon, and the case garnered widespread attention. Prosecutors argued that Vallow Daybell’s religious beliefs, including notions of zombies and an impending doomsday, played a part in motivating her alleged murders of her two youngest children and her husband’s previous wife.

To summarize Vallow Daybell’s background and the murder trial:

What are the charges against Vallow Daybell?

Vallow Daybell and Chad Daybell were indicted in May 2021 on nine criminal charges, which include murder and conspiracy charges related to three deaths.

Vallow Daybell is accused of killing her two youngest children, Tylee Ryan and Joshua Jaxon “JJ” Vallow. The last sighting of Tylee, who was nearly 17 years old, and JJ, aged 7, was in September 2019. The children’s bodies were found buried on Chad Daybell’s property in Rexburg, Idaho, in June 2020.

Even prior to the discovery of the remains, Vallow Daybell faced charges of felony child desertion and obstruction. Prosecutors alleged that she did not report her children missing in order to continue receiving benefits.

She is also charged with conspiring to murder Tammy Daybell, Chad’s previous wife, who was found dead in her home in October 2019—less than a month before Chad and Vallow Daybell married in Hawaii. Chad Daybell is Vallow Daybell’s fifth husband.

In a separate case in Arizona, Vallow Daybell was indicted on conspiracy murder charges for allegedly orchestrating the shooting death of her fourth husband, Charles Vallow, in July 2019 by her brother, Alex Cox. Alex Cox later died in December 2019 from natural causes, as determined by authorities.

What transpired during the trial?

The prosecution called numerous witnesses and presented disturbing images to the jury that depicted the horrific condition of Tylee and JJ’s bodies. Tylee’s body had been burned and dismembered, while JJ’s body was wrapped in plastic with bound wrists and ankles, and a plastic bag was duct-taped over his head.

Much of the trial’s evidence was circumstantial, including numerous text messages retrieved from Vallow Daybell’s phone. However, a DNA expert testified that a hair found on a segment of duct tape attached to JJ’s body matched that of his mother.

In an unexpected turn of events, the defense team for Lori Vallow Daybell chose not to call any witnesses during the trial and rested their case shortly after the prosecution’s presentation. The defense attempted to convince the judge that the prosecution had not provided enough evidence to warrant a verdict from the jury, but their request was denied. The prosecution argued that Vallow Daybell and Chad Daybell, her husband, were engaged in a criminal conspiracy driven by their shared extreme beliefs.

According to Oregon-based journalist Leah Sottile, Vallow Daybell and Chad Daybell belonged to the fringes of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and were part of an extremist subculture. They referred to themselves as religious figures named “James and Elaina” and claimed to have the ability to discern whether individuals were under the influence of evil spirits. Their beliefs evolved from spiritual casting to the notion of zombies, where they believed that the destruction of the physical body would release the host from the control of dark spirits.

During the trial, prosecutors highlighted text messages between Vallow Daybell and Chad Daybell that discussed death percentages for Chad’s then-wife, Tammy Daybell. The messages also mentioned Tammy being in limbo and being possessed by a spirit named Viola. The concept of zombies emerged when Vallow Daybell referred to her daughter, Tylee, as a zombie after she refused to babysit JJ. Tylee responded by saying, “Not me, mom,” and Vallow Daybell later concluded that JJ had also become a zombie. The pair claimed that their mission was to rid the world of zombies, as directed by the Book of Revelation.

Money was another significant aspect of the case. Prosecutors argued that Vallow Daybell and Chad Daybell sought financial gain from the deaths of their family members through insurance payouts and Social Security benefits. They were accused of using money, power, and sex to fulfill their desires and establish a new life free from their relatives.

Vallow Daybell faced additional charges of grand theft for accepting Social Security funds intended for the care of her children, even after their deaths went unreported. Furthermore, Chad Daybell had reportedly increased Tammy Daybell’s life insurance coverage shortly before her unexpected death, later determined to be asphyxiation.

The jury’s guilty verdict against Lori Vallow Daybell marked a significant development in a case that had captivated public attention. While her sentencing hearing has yet to be scheduled, the possibility of life imprisonment looms over her. The separate trial for Chad Daybell, her husband, is still pending.

The disturbing details of this trial shed light on the alleged actions of Lori Vallow Daybell and the web of conspiracy surrounding her and Chad Daybell. The case has underscored the devastating consequences that can arise when extreme beliefs and criminal intent intersect, leaving a tragic trail of victims in their wake.