Lori Vallow Daybell’s attorney claims manipulation of his client

Posted at 6:38 AM, October 28, 2021 and last updated 3:03 PM, July 24, 2023

By Katie McLaughlin

MERIDIAN, Idaho (Court TV) — Lori Vallow Daybell’s attorney has filed an explosive motion alleging that his client, who is currently committed to a psychiatric facility, is being manipulated by her caretakers.


Lori and her husband, Chad Daybell — who have been dubbed the Doomsday Couple because of their extreme religious beliefs — face multiple criminal charges, including the murders of her children, Tylee and JJ.

Earlier this year, Lori was deemed not competent to stand trial and confined to an Idaho psychiatric facility for treatment. Once she’s deemed competent, her case will go forward.

According to the motion filed by her defense attorney Mark Means, Lori and the clinician treating her at the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare watched Chad Daybell’s change of venue hearing together on October 5, 2021.

During that hearing, the clinician recommended that Lori contact LDS church headquarters’ legal counsel to discuss her case and possibly obtain new legal counsel. The clinician even reportedly provided the phone number and told her that making that call was part of her treatment.

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)

The motion states that Lori would not otherwise have reached out to this other legal counsel had she not been prodded by the Department of Health and Welfare employee.

According to Means, Lori didn’t want to make the call — she felt forced. And when Lori told her treating clinician that she had informed Means about the call, the clinician said “no you didn’t.”

Lori spoke to Daniel S. McConkie at LDS legal counsel. According to the motion, Lori made Brady Violation disclosures under the guise that the church was her friend and was there to assist her. Means insisted Lori would not have made those disclosures without McConkie’s assurances that he already knew every detail of her case.

Means reported that McConkie never disclosed to Lori that there was a conflict of interest or that their conversation was not, in fact, protected by attorney-client privilege. Lori believed she would be protected by the rules of the spiritual world.

Means stated that McConkie disclosed the details of the conversation he had with Lori to prosecutor Rob Wood. Wood later revealed that Lori only told McConkie that she wanted a new appointed public defender. According to the motion, this was not true.

In the motion, Means goes on to describe Lori’s “obsession” with the LDS Church and her belief that LDS’ legal counsel “can control and manipulate the Court system, Judges, Prosecution and the like in this very case.”

According to Means, Lori’s beliefs were used against her without her attorney’s supervision or knowledge.

Calling these actions unethical and possibly illegal, Means suggested that the LDS Church might be working in tandem with the prosecution to manipulate Lori into making statements that were not in her best interests.

“These behaviors, if true,” stated Means, “are clearly unethical and possible illegal activities to undermine Defendant’s Constitutionally protected rights.”

Court TV’s Chanley Painter contributed to this report.