Photo: Tammy Daybell, left, JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan
ST. ANTHONY — Lori Vallow Daybell says her children died in her brother’s apartment, she wants to meet with her husband for “strategy sessions” and she believes she does not qualify for the death penalty.
That’s according to several new motions filed by her attorneys within the past week.
Daybell and her husband Chad Daybell are charged with multiple counts of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder for the deaths of 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow and 16-year-old Tylee Ryan – two of Lori’s children – along with Chad’s previous wife, Tammy Daybell. If found guilty, they could face the death penalty.
Lori Vallow Daybell at a court hearing in 2022. | EastIdahoNews.com file photo
The couple is scheduled to be tried together this spring. Before it begins, Lori wants permission from District Judge Steven Boyce to communicate with Chad.
“With settlement proposals, mediation, motions and trial fast approaching, Lori and Chad would like to be able to talk together in person and on the phone about their options,” Jim Archibald, Lori’s attorney, wrote in a motion.
The couple was married in Hawaii on Nov. 5, 2019, and Lori was arrested the following February. Archibald noted she spoke with Chad on multiple recorded jail phone calls until he was arrested on June 9, 2020.
Since then, they have only talked to each other one time, according to Archibald. It was on an arranged call in July 2022 between Chad, Lori and their attorneys.
Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow Daybell in Hawaii. | EastIdahoNews.com file photo
“The call was approved by the prosecuting attorney and sheriff and was not recorded,” Archibald said.
If Boyce approves the motion, Archibald says he and co-counsel John Thomas will attend in-person meetings and phone conversations, along with John Prior, Chad’s attorney.
“The attorneys … will not record the conversations and will not use the conversations as evidence. The conversations can be deemed as for settlement purposes only,” Archibald wrote.
Notice of alibi and constitutionality of death penalty
In a separate two-paragraph notice of alibi, Archibald says Lori was not present when her children and Tammy Daybell died. Police say JJ and Tylee were killed in September 2019. Their remains were found buried on Chad Daybell’s property.
Chad’s wife Tammy Daybell died on Oct. 19, 2019.
“Lori Vallow was in her own apartment in Rexburg, Idaho, when JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan died in the apartment of (her brother) Alex Cox in Rexburg, Idaho. Defendant was with Melanie Gibb, David Warwick, and/or Chad Daybell,” Archibald wrote. “Lori Vallow was in Hawaii when Tammy Daybell died at the home of Chad Daybell in Salem, Idaho. Defendant was with Melani Boudreaux and/or Audrey Barattiero.”
Cox lived in the same complex as Lori when the children died. He died in December 2019, and the medical examiner gave his cause of death as blood clots.
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In two separate filings (here and here) addressing the death penalty, Archibald argued prosecutors have not been specific enough in stating why Daybell is eligible for the death penalty. He asks Boyce to declare the death penalty unconstitutional and take it off the table.
Chad Daybell motion to continue
John Prior, Chad Daybell’s attorney, also filed an 18-page motion asking Boyce to reschedule the trial for April 2024.
Prior said he still needs a substantial amount of time to prepare for the trial and is awaiting further evidence from prosecutors. The deadline for prosecutors to turn over all discovery materials is Feb. 23.
“(That date) is less than 40 days before a complex, capital trial is set to begin,” Prior wrote. “The (current) timeline does not permit a review of all evidence, consultation with appropriate experts, independent examinations, and consideration of potential legal claims and challenges.”
The motions will be heard in front of Boyce on Jan. 19 in Fremont County along with a motion from prosecutors to sequester the jury. Additional hearings are scheduled in February and March before the trial is set to begin April 3 in Ada County.
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