‘Cult mom’ Lori Vallow and husband Chad Daybell to be tried separately
Lori Vallow and her husband Chad Daybell will be tried separately for the killings of Vallow’s two children and Daybell’s ex-wife, a judge ruled Thursday.
Judge Steven Boyce previously argued multiple times that the couple should face trial together, but he changed his mind Thursday in a procedural decision, East Idaho News reported.
Vallow and Daybell’s trial was scheduled to begin April 3. Vallow has repeatedly said she wants proceedings to begin as soon as possible, according to East Idaho News. Meanwhile, Daybell and his attorney want another six-month delay.
“I have to balance the rights of these defendants in this case,” Boyce said Thursday. “Severance is the only option I see.”
Vallow and Daybell are accused of conspiring to kill Vallow’s two children from previous relationships, 16-year-old Tylee Ryan and 7-year-old J.J. Vallow.
Daybell is also accused of killing his ex-wife, Tammy, after pursuing a relationship with Vallow.
The trial was already delayed several times as authorities determined whether Vallow was mentally competent.
The latest issue centers on DNA evidence, likely a hair discovered on J.J.’s body bag, that was not turned over to defense attorneys until recently, East Idaho News reported.
Daybell’s attorney asked for a delay to examine the evidence. Vallow’s lawyer said he would have asked for the same delay if his client had requested it.
“If my client waived her speedy trial, I would also be asking for extra time,” attorney Jim Archibald said. “But since she has held that right and held it close to her, I have to respect that constitutional autonomy that she has.”
Both Vallow and Daybell have pleaded not guilty to all charges. Vallow’s trial remains scheduled for April 3, while a new date for Daybell has not been set.