ID v. Chad Daybell: Doomsday Prophet Murder Trial

Posted at 9:23 AM, April 17, 2024

ADA COUNTY, Idaho (Court TV) — The trial of a so-called “Doomsday Prophet” facing charges he killed his first wife and the two youngest children of his second wife is underway in Idaho.

Chad Daybell is charged with conspiracy and first-degree murder in the Oct. 2019 death of Tammy Daybell. He’s facing those same charges in the deaths of 7-year-old JJ Vallow and 16-year-old Tylee Ryan, children of Lori Vallow.  Daybell is also charged with one count of grand theft and two counts of insurance fraud.

chad daybell mugshot

This March 21, 2024 booking photo provided by the Ada County Sheriff’s Office shows Chad Daybell. (Ada County Sheriff’s Office)

Last year, a jury convicted Lori Vallow on conspiracy and first-degree murder charges in the deaths of her children and conspiracy to commit murder in the death of Tammy Daybell. She was sentenced to three consecutive life sentences without parole.

An indictment accuses the couple of espousing religious beliefs to justify the murders. The remains of Vallow’s children were found on Daybell’s property in June 2020, nine months after they were last seen alive. By then, Vallow was sitting in an Idaho jail on charges stemming from the children’s disappearance. She was arrested in Hawaii in Feb. 2020, where she and Daybell had relocated amid a cloud of suspicion.



DAY 4 – 4/16/24

  • Jurors heard Chad Daybell’s text messages and web searches in the months before JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan disappeared.
    • Chad Daybell searches included “Ned Schneider” and “Hiplos.” Daybell and Lori Vallow believed Charles Vallow, Lori’s husband, was possessed by a dark spirit or demon.
    • Daybell and Lori Vallow searched for malachite jewelry, specifically wedding bands, while Tammy Daybell was still alive. Vallow Daybell searched for wedding dresses in Kauai on the day of Tammy Daybell’s funeral.
    • WATCH: Google Searches Show Wedding Bands, Possession In Chad Daybell’s Trial
  • Detective Nathan Duncan, Chandler Police Department in Arizona, testified about his investigation into Charles Vallow’s death.
    • WATCH: Detective: Charles Vallow Was Shot While Lying Down
    • Detective Duncan said that although investigators recommended criminal charges against Daybell, the Maricopa County prosecutor decided there was “no reasonable likelihood of conviction.”
    • Jurors heard a recorded phone call of Chad Daybell calling an Arizona mortuary inquiring about the cost of burying his “uncle” shortly after Charles Vallow’s death.
  •  Charles Vallow confronted his wife about a letter that appeared to be from him inviting Chad Daybell to stay with their family a second time to help him write a book.
    • Charles Vallow reached out to Tammy Daybell the week before his death, telling her he had “definitive proof” their spouses were having an affair. He then confronted Chad Daybell about the email he found on Lori’s computer.
  • Chad Daybell messages Lori Vallow before Charles Vallow’s death that he “feels like Harry Potter living under the Dursley’s stairs” and that he “can escape and have amazing adventures with his goddess lover.” Adding, “I sense permanent change is coming.”
  • Detective Duncan testified about a “patriarchal blessing” given by Chad Daybell to Alex Cox on November 24, 2019. Daybell tells Cox that he is a prophet and a hero. “You have already assisted us in ways that can never be repaid,” Daybell said. The blessing was given two weeks before Cox’s death in December 2019.
  • WATCH: Doomsday Prophet Murder Trial: The Genesis Of Killing Spree
  • WATCH: Doomsday Prophet Murder Trial: Day 4 Recap

DAY 3 – 4/15/24

DAY 2 – 4/11/24

  • Detective Ray Hermosillo, Rexburg Police Department, returned to the witness stand on Thursday.
    • Hermosillo was initially assigned to locate a missing Jeep Wrangler in Arizona. The case evolved into a welfare check for Joshua “JJ” Vallow, which led to a larger investigation, including the search for “JJ’s” older sister, Tylee Ryan.
    • Jurors heard graphic details in the manner that “JJ” Vallow and his sister, Tylee Ryan’s remains were located on the 4-acre property of Chad Daybell on June 9, 2019.
    • WATCH: Detective Recalls Horrific Discovery While Excavating Daybell Property
  • Tammy Daybell posted a message to her church group on social media about a man wearing a ski shot at her using a paint gun. She then searched the internet for paint guns.
  • Alex Cox searched for “bullets that can go through a Dodge Dakota’s windshield” three days after Tammy Daybell was shot at with a paintball gun. Other searches were for the “best tactical knives and sharpening swords” in late October 2019.
  • WATCH: Doomsday Prophet Murder Trial: Day 2 Recap

DAY 1 – 4/10/24

  • Madison County Prosecutor Rob Wood told jurors that Chad Daybell was motivated by “money, power, and sex.”
  • Defense attorney John Prior told jurors that they will hear from their expert witnesses that there is no evidence connecting his client, Chad Daybell, to the murders of his wife’s children, Tylee and “JJ.” Also, another expert will say that Daybell’s first wife, Tamara “Tammy” Daybell, died of natural causes.
  • Jurors heard from the state’s first witness, Detective Ray Hermosillo.
    • Detective Hermosillo was tasked with conducting a welfare check for seven-year-old Joshua Jackson “JJ” Vallow.
  • Proof of life photos of Tylee Ryan and “JJ” Vallow were found in Lori Vallow’s iCloud account. Tylee was last photographed with her little brother, “JJ,” and her uncle, Alex Cox, at Yellowstone National Park on September 8, 2019. “JJ” Vallow was last photographed wearing red pajamas on September 22, 2019, in his mother’s apartment in Rexburg, Idaho.
  • Jurors will hear more testimony Thursday on what was found on the 4-acre property of Chad Daybell.
  • WATCH: Doomsday Prophet Murder Trial: Day 1 Recap