Judge: ‘Doomsday Couple’ to be tried jointly

Posted at 3:58 PM, March 18, 2022 and last updated 6:36 PM, July 7, 2023

FREMONT COUNTY, Idaho (Court TV) — A judge has denied Chad Daybell’s request to sever his case from that of his wife, Lori Vallow Daybell’s. The couple will face a joint trial for the murders of Lori’s two children, Tylee and JJ. Chad is also charged with first-degree murder in the death of his first wife, Tammy Daybell.

In denying Chad’s defense team’s motion to sever, the judge ruled that the couple will be tried together when the case goes to trial on January 9, 2023. Lori is currently undergoing treatment at an Idaho mental health facility. She was committed last June following a psychological assessment which deemed her unfit to stand trial.

Once she’s deemed competent, however, she will face justice; and the judge has indicated that the trial will indeed go forth this coming January.


At last week’s hearing, the parties discussed Chad Daybell’s motion aimed at ousting prosecutors from his case.

In the hearing, another motion was introduced in Daybell’s case to separate his trial from his wife, Lori Vallow’s.

FILE – In this March 6, 2020, file photo, Lori Vallow Daybell glances at the camera during her hearing, with her defense attorney, Edwina Elcox, right, in Rexburg, Idaho.  (John Roark/The Idaho Post-Register via AP, Pool, File)

Prosecutors argued for a single trial for the couple, not only because of the conspiracy charges, but also because of the judicial costs of two trials, for a case involving the same charges, parties, witnesses, attorneys and staff.

The prosecution ultimately argued that the defense has a high burden to show that the cases should be severed. They haven’t shown anything – Bruton issues, antagonistic defenses, etc. – that would warrant the separation.

A booking photo provided by the Rexburg (Idaho) Police Department shows Chad Daybell, who was arrested Tuesday, June 9, 2020. (Rexburg Police Department via AP)

Come January, jury selection will last two weeks, and the presentation of evidence will last ten weeks. Chad Daybell is facing the death penalty if convicted of the charges against him.

Court TV’s Jessica Thill and Beth Hemphill contributed to this report.