Colby Ryan, Lori Vallow Daybell’s son, testifies in her trial

Ryan Confronted His Mother In A Recorded Phone Call That Was Played For The Jury.

Posted at 3:10 PM, April 18, 2023 and last updated 7:10 AM, April 19, 2023

By: Jeremy Downing – Assistant News Director

BOISE, Idaho (KIVI) — Week two of Lori Vallow Daybell’s murder trial began on Tuesday morning at the Ada County Courthouse, where Zulema Pastenes returned to the witness stand.

Vallow Daybell is accused of killing two of her children, JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan, as well as conspiring to kill her husband’s previous wife, Tammy Daybell.

Courtroom sketch of Colby Ryan

Colby Ryan testifies in the trial of his mother, Lori Vallow Daybell. (Sketch by Lisa Cheney)

As the day began, jurors heard more from Zulema Pastenes, the widow of Lori’s brother and accused co-conspirator Alex Cox. She was asked how well she really knew her husband because he died only two weeks after their wedding.

LISTEN: ID v. Vallow Daybell: Day 6

On Friday, Pastenes gave insight into the cult-like atmosphere that prosecutors say motivated the conspiracy to lead a chosen group to salvation. Pastenes told the court of Alex’s dedication to Lori saying she thought Alex believed whatever Chad and Lori told him.

“Chad told Alex that he had come only to the earth and his sole purpose is to protect Lori.”

Colby Ryan, Lori’s son from an earlier marriage, took the stand Tuesday morning and described Lori as perfectly normal in her earlier years before she met Chad Daybell.

Ryan testified that Lori lied to him on the phone when she told him that her fourth husband Charles Vallow had died of a heart attack. Ryan said he later learned the truth when he arrived at their house and saw Cox sitting on the couch with a bandage on his head. It was at that point that Ryan learned that Cox had shot and killed Charles in what he called self-defense.

Courtroom sketch of lori vallow daybell and her attorneys

A sketch shows Lori Vallow Daybell displaying emotion as her son testified in her murder trial. (Sketch by Lisa Cheney)

Jurors heard a phone call between Ryan and his mother that was recorded after the bodies of JJ and Tylee Ryan had been found. In the call, Ryan can be heard screaming at Lori that she is a “murdering mother.” The conversation lasted for several minutes and ended with Ryan accusing Lori of murdering his siblings, and saying that he would like to hit Chad Daybell in the head with a shovel.

WATCH: Lori Vallow Daybell’s Oldest Son Testifies

Prosecutors say Vallow Daybell and her fifth husband, Chad Daybell, espoused strange doomsday-focused beliefs involving demonic possession and “zombies” to further their alleged plan to kill the kids and his previous wife Tammy Daybell. They are also accused of collecting life insurance money and nearly $6,000 a month from the kids’ social security and survivor benefits due to the deaths of their fathers: Tylee’s father Joe Ryan died in 2018 and JJ’s father Charles Vallow died in 2019.

JJ was 7 years old and Tylee was a few days shy of her 17th birthday when the kids were last seen alive in September of 2019, and their bodies were found buried in Chad Daybell’s yard the following June. Tammy Daybell died in October of 2019 — just two weeks before Vallow Daybell and Chad Daybell married — and an autopsy later determined she had been asphyxiated.

Both have pleaded not guilty to murder, conspiracy and grand theft charges, and they are being tried separately. Daybell’s trial is still months away.

This story was originally published on April 18, 2023, by KIVI in Boise, an E.W. Scripps Company.

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