FREMONT COUNTY, Idaho (KIFI) - Judge Steven W. Boyce has granted a motion to continue Lori Vallow-Daybell's trial from October 11, 2022 to January 9, 2023.
It was set to start in October after she did not wave her right to a speedy trial.
The prosecution made the request earlier this month to keep the trials together and avoid an improper severance.
Judge Boyce said in a 12 page document, "For reasons more fully set forth in the Court’s March 21, 2022 Memorandum Decision Denying Defendant’s Motion for Severance, filed in Daybell’s case, the Court concluded that the two defendants will be tried together. The State’s argument that an improper severance may occur if Defendant’s trial proceeds in October, 2022 is well founded. In order to preserve single trial, the Court would be required to advance Daybell’s trial to October. This could potentially deprive Daybell of necessary time to prepare for trial, wherein the Court has previously scheduled his trial for January, 2023, and his attorney has reasonably relied on that setting in his ongoing preparation."
He said advancing Chad Daybell's trial to October may prejudice his defense.
"In summary, this is death penalty case. The discovery volume is extraordinary. Defendant’s defense team has only recently been fully assembled and has expressed concerns with the ability to be fully prepared to defend their client in October. The trial itself has been set for duration of 10 weeks—which further confirms that scope of evidence the State intends to introduce. The Court is concerned that the defense may be impaired by being required to commence trial in October, where they are relatively recently appointed to the case," he wrote.
Judge Boyce also said Vallow-Daybell's constitutional rights are not being violated by extending the time for her trial by an additional 82 days to January 9, 2023.
You can view the full document below.
A pre-trial conference has been scheduled for Nov. 9. Their trial is set to start in January in Ada County.
Lori Vallow-Daybell's co-defendant and husband, Chad Daybell, is also facing a potential death penalty if convicted. The pair are charged with murder, conspiracy and grand theft in connection with the deaths of 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow and 17-year-old Tylee Ryan.
Prosecutors announced their intent to seek capital punishment in Chad Daybell’s case last August, but Lori Vallow-Daybell's case was on hold at the time because she was undergoing treatment at a mental health facility. Lori Vallow-Daybell is scheduled to stand trial in October, and Chad Daybell is scheduled for trial next January.
Idaho law enforcement began investigating the Daybells in November 2019 after extended family members reported the children were missing. The children were missing for several months, during which time police said the couple lied about the children's whereabouts, before their bodies were found buried on Chad Daybell's property in rural Idaho.
Chad and Lori Daybell married just two weeks after his previous wife, Tammy Daybell, died unexpectedly. Tammy Daybell's death was initially reported as “natural causes,” but investigators had her body exhumed after growing suspicious when Chad Daybell quickly remarried.
Lori Vallow-Daybell is also charged with conspiracy to commit murder in Arizona in connection with the death of her previous husband. Charles Vallow was shot and killed by Lori Daybell's brother, Alex Cox, who claimed it was self-defense. Cox later died of what police said was natural causes.
Chad Daybell has pleaded not guilty to all the charges, and a judge entered a “not guilty” plea on Lori Vallow-Daybell's behalf after she stood silent when asked for a plea earlier this year.
Idaho law allows prosecutors to seek the death penalty if they can show certain “aggravating factors” for crimes like murder or conspiracy to commit murder.