By LAUREN SILVER
BOISE, Idaho (Court TV) — Convicted killer Lori Vallow Daybell has requested a new trial, in part because of issues surrounding the jury.
Lori is awaiting sentencing after she was convicted of murdering her two youngest children, JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan, as well as conspiring in the murder of her fifth husband’s first wife, Tammy Daybell.
In a motion filed on May 25 in Ada County, Lori’s attorneys argued that she should be granted a new trial for three reasons:
- The Court misdirected the jury during instructions regarding the charge of conspiracy.
- The indictment was amended two years after it was filed by the grand jury and during the course of the trial.
- A juror revealed that instructions were confusing and that he knew about evidence that was not submitted to the jury.
Lori’s attorneys argued that under the indictment, the conspiracy charges against Lori included “Chad Guy Daybell, Lori Norene Vallow, and Alex Cox (deceased) and other co-conspirators, both known and unknown,” language which implies a group of at least five people.
“The trial court, however, at the government’s request, allowed the trial jury to consider a conspiracy of only two people: Lori and Chad, Lori and Alex, or Chad and Alex. This change of the definition of conspiracy from the grand jury to the trial jury completely changed the complexity of this case by allowing the insertion of the “and/or” language.
Before closing arguments were delivered in the case, prosecutors asked to amend the indictment for what it described as a “clerical error.” Lori’s attorneys now maintain the change was far more significant and “changed the statute in the definition of grand theft.” Lori’s attorneys claim they tried to amend the indictment before the trial started, but were unsuccessful.
As for the jury, Lori’s attorneys pointed specifically to an interview East Idaho News did with Juror Number 8. During the interview, the reporter asked how the juror interpreted the efforts of law enforcement.
Juror: “We didn’t consider this during our deliberations, because it was clear to us, the instructions were clear, Arizona evidence and testimony is only for demonstrative purposes.”
Reporter: “Sure, yes.”
Juror: “And we were all very, very respectful of the rule, the directions that we were given. But now being removed from that, I think the police department in Phoenix had some significant red flags, that had they been followed up on, you know, maybe we’re not here.”
Reporter: “Do you mean after Charles was shot?”
Juror: “Before and after.”
Reporter: “Before and after, yes, you’re right, before he was shot, with the body cam.”
Juror : (Nods in the affirmative)
Lori’s attorneys contend the interview makes it clear that evidence shown to the jury was confusing, and that the objections the defense had made to allowing it into the trial should have been upheld.
“The second problem with this juror’s comments are that Charles Vallow’s statements to law enforcement were not part of the evidence presented in this case. The juror and the reporter refer to it, but it wasn’t presented in court. We can only conclude that that juror relied on information not presented in court to reach his conclusion that Arizona dropped the ball and should have done more, even before Charles Vallow was shot and killed by Alex Cox.”
Lori’s attorneys are requesting her conviction be vacated and a new trial ordered.