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Lori Vallow Daybell was convicted of murder. Her attorneys are asking for a new trial.

Lori Vallow Daybell stands and listens as the jury’s verdict is read at the Ada County Courthouse in Boise on Friday May 12, 2023. The Idaho jury convicted Daybell of murder in the deaths of her two youngest children and a romantic rival, a verdict that marks the end of a three-year investigation that included bizarre claims of zombie children, apocalyptic prophesies and illicit affairs. | AP Photo/Kyle Green
BOISE — Lori Vallow Daybell is asking for a new trial.
The 49-year-old mother — whose children’s disappearance and fringe religious beliefs garnered national attention — was convicted by a 12-person jury of murdering two of her children two weeks ago. The trial concluded in mid-May after six weeks and just shy of seven hours of deliberations.
Vallow Daybell, who moved to Idaho from Arizona in the summer of 2019, was also convicted on four additional felonies including three conspiracy to commit first-degree murder charges for the children, 16-year-old Tylee Ryan and 7-year-old JJ Vallow, and Tammy Daybell, the then-wife of Vallow Daybell’s husband. She was also found guilty of grand theft for continuing to collect the children’s Social Security and child care benefits after they were dead.
Chad Daybell, Vallow Daybell’s husband, is also charged with over half-a-dozen felonies related to the murder of JJ, Tylee and Tammy Daybell. His trial date hasn’t been set but it’s expected to take place next year.
In the motion for a new trial, Vallow Daybell’s attorneys said one of the jurors knew about evidence that wasn’t presented during the trial. The motion also said the instructions given to the jurors were confusing.
In addition to the charges in Idaho, authorities have said they believe Vallow Daybell, along with her brother Alex Cox, conspired to kill her fourth husband Charles Vallow. In July 2019 — roughly two months before the children went missing — Cox shot and killed Charles Vallow in Chandler, Arizona.
Cox, who died in December 2019, initially told police that he shot Charles Vallow in self-defense, but Vallow Daybell has now been charged with a felony for conspiring to murder Charles Vallow. She’s also been charged with conspiracy to commit first-degree murder in the attempted shooting of Vallow Daybell’s niece’s ex-husband Brandon Boudreaux.
Jim Archibald and John Thomas, Vallow Daybell’s attorneys, are referring to an East Idaho News interview with Saul Hernandez, or Juror No. 8. In the interview, Hernandez said police in Arizona had “some significant red flags” and had they followed up on some things maybe there wouldn’t have been a trial in Idaho.
East Idaho News reporter Nate Eaton, in the interview, then asked Hernandez if he was referring to after Charles Vallow was shot, to which Hernandez responded “before and after.”
Eaton then responds that Hernandez is right and refers to body camera footage of Charles Vallow in January 2019 — seven months before he was killed — where he tells the Gilbert Police Department that Vallow Daybell has “lost her reality” and that he was worried about Tylee and JJ’s safety.
The motion argued that Hernandez’s comment about Arizona police wasn’t part of the evidence presented during the trial — which it wasn’t — but that both Hernandez and Eaton refer to it in the interview. Hernandez during the interview doesn’t specifically mention the footage but slightly shakes his head in agreement when Eaton mentions it.
The interview took place on May 17, which was five days after a verdict was reached. While the jurors were not allowed to read or watch any news related to Vallow Daybell during the trial, nothing prevented them from researching the case after they reached a verdict and the trial was done.
“We can only conclude that the 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,” the motion said.
Hernandez during the interview also said that “it was clear” to the jurors that testimony and evidence related to Arizona were only for “demonstrative purposes.” But, in the motion, the defense pointed out that any evidence regarding Arizona wasn’t admitted for demonstrative purposes but instead was admitted to show that any alleged crimes went toward the prosecution’s ability to prove “motive, opportunity or intent, preparation, plan, knowledge, identity, absence of mistake, or lack of accident.”
The evidence cannot be admitted “to prove a person’s character,” according to Idaho Rules of Evidence.
“To confuse demonstrative evidence and character evidence is easy to do; hence, the defense objections should have been sustained,” Vallow Daybell’s attorneys wrote in the motion. Vallow Daybell’s defense team objected to several witnesses who spoke about the death of Charles Vallow along with the attempted shooting of Boudreaux throughout the trial.
The motion also cited two additional reasons why Vallow Daybell’s conviction should be vacated and she should receive a new trial. Vallow Daybell’s attorneys in the motion alleged that the court “misdirected the jury” about the law in regard to the three conspiracy charges. In the indictment, prosecutors alleged that the Daybells, Cox and “other co-conspirators, both known and unknown” conspired to kill the children and Tammy Daybell.
But during the trial, the government alleged that the conspiracy was only between two people: the Daybells, Vallow Daybell and her brother, or Chad Daybell and Cox.
“To have the government and the court permit a conspiracy of just two people instead of five was prejudicial and unlawful, and should require a new trial,” the motion said.
The motion added that the jury was again misdirected because the court allowed the prosecution to amend the indictment nearly two years after it was filed.
The prosecution will have a chance to file an objection to the motion and then Judge Boyce could schedule a hearing. Vallow Daybell is expected to be sentenced at 9 a.m. July 31 at the Fremont County Courthouse in St. Anthony, Idaho.
The post Lori Vallow Daybell was convicted of murder. Her attorneys are asking for a new trial. appeared first on East Idaho News.

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