Lori Vallow Daybell trial: Judge to rule on death penalty next week

Posted at 7:16 AM, March 16, 2023 and last updated 7:31 AM, March 16, 2023


FREMONT COUNTY, Idaho (Court TV) — The judge in the case against Lori Vallow Daybell announced Wednesday that he will issue his decision next week regarding whether the accused triple murderer will face the death penalty. District Judge Steven Boyce will also reveal his decision on two other important motions at that time.


Lori is set to go on trial April 3. Earlier this month, her case was severed from that of her fifth husband, Chad Daybell.

The so-called Doomsday Couple faces several charges, including multiple counts of first-degree murder, related to the deaths of Chad’s first wife, Tammy Daybell and two of Lori’s children, 7-year-old JJ Vallow and 16-year-old Tylee Ryan, whose bodies were discovered on Chad’s property in June 2020.

Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell

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)

According to East Idaho News, Lori’s defense attorney Jim Archibald urged Judge Boyce to dismiss the death penalty in Lori’s case “due to the cumulative of errors.”

He went on to say: “Media saturation, multiple violations by the government, the government’s knowledge of my client’s mental health and the practical standpoint that Idaho has been trying to kill people on death row and hasn’t been able to do it because the Idaho Department of Correction can’t get chemicals to kill people.”

WATCH: Lori Vallow Daybell Seeks Dismissal of Death Penalty

Another motion Judge Boyce is set to rule on is a motion to compel. Attorneys for Lori have requested that the prosecution turn over all statements that Chad has made while in custody, both written and recorded.

John Thomas, another of Lori’s attorneys, pointed out that although his team has obtained recordings of five visits Chad received while in custody, in addition to the contents of about 3,000 phone calls, with the trial less than three weeks away the defense is running out of time to review it all.

READ MORE: Jury selection process laid out for trial of Lori Vallow Daybell

FILE – In this June 11, 2020, file photo, a boy looks at a memorial for Tylee Ryan, 17, and Joshua “JJ” Vallow, 7, at Porter Park in Rexburg, Idaho. (John Roark/The Idaho Post-Register via AP, File)

The prosecution maintains that the conversations are all in the defense’s possession, but they did point out that the issue remains “ongoing,” as Chad sits in Fremont County Jail and regularly makes phone calls.

Additionally, Judge Boyce is mulling over a motion in limine in which Lori’s attorneys asked to exclude evidence that was not disclosed until February 27 at 4:07 p.m.

Back in December, Judge Boyce announced that all evidence must be submitted before February 27. Archibald told the judge that it wasn’t fair for the prosecution to “dump” 5,000 pages along with 3,000 phone calls and hours of video and audio recordings on them after they were due.

WATCH: Lori Vallow Daybell: From Beauty Contestant to Accused Murderer

At the conclusion of Wednesday’s hearing, Judge Boyce said he would issue his decision in one week on Wednesday, March 22.

Lori is set to face trial in Ada County in less than three weeks. Chad’s trial has been vacated and will go on at a future date. Both have pleaded not guilty to charges against them which include multiple counts of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder.