Lesser charges dropped against ‘Doomsday Cult’ Couple, Murder Charges Remain

Posted at 4:05 PM, July 30, 2021 and last updated 8:03 PM, June 14, 2023

By Katie McLaughlin, Court TV

ST. ANTHONY, Idaho — Prosecutors in Idaho have dropped the destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence charges against Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow Daybell.

The husband and wife were indicted in May on charges including first-degree murder for the deaths of Chad’s first wife, Tammy Daybell, and Lori’s children, 16-year-old Tylee Ryan and 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow. Those charges are still being pursued. According to EastIdahoNews.com, the dismissal of those cases will actually help prosecutors focus on the more serious murder charges, which carry much harsher penalties.

Lori Vallow Daybell (left) is shown in a March 6, 2020, file photo. Her husband, Chad Daybell, right,
listens during his preliminary hearing in St. Anthony, Idaho, on Monday, August 3, 2020. The couple are charged with concealing evidence by destroying or hiding the bodies of 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow and 17-year-old Tylee Ryan at his eastern Idaho home. (John Roark/Post Register via AP, Pool)

Chad Daybell has pleaded not guilty to all charges against him. The prosecution has until August 1 to file a notice of intent indicating whether they will seek the death penalty.

Meanwhile, Lori Vallow Daybell’s case is temporarily on hold because a psychologist deemed her incompetent. The so-called Doomsday Cult Mom is currently receiving mental health care at the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. She will face trial once she is declared fit.

Additionally, Lori faces a conspiracy to commit murder charge in Arizona related to the July 2019 shooting death of her fourth husband, Charles Vallow. Earlier this month, disturbing documents related to Charles’ death contained shocking revelations about Lori’s extreme religious beliefs.