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Law professor talks about next steps in Vallow, Daybell trials

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) - The murder trial of Lori Vallow-Daybell and her husband Chad Daybell has taken a complicated turn.

Lori's lawyers are asking for a speedy trial in the case related to the deaths of her children, JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan in 2019.

But Chad's attorneys are asking for more time to prepare. 

Yet their cases are still joined, and set to go to trial in January 2023.

University of Idaho law professor Samuel Newton explains what's next, as Idaho law dictates Vallow's trial must start within six months of arraignment.

For that to happen, her case must be severed from her husband's.

"The state has to either move it if they're wanting to join the case, as they have to try to move Chad's case up, try it at the same time," Newton said. "Or they could keep them as separate trials and do Lori's at first or Chads later. Those are kind of the choices they have. They could, of course, move for severance."

However, Judge Boyce has previously ruled the two will be tried together.

"Maybe it changes with the speedy trial election that maybe that merits a severance, especially if Chad's lawyers don't feel comfortable moving forward that quickly," Newton said. "There are reasons for the defense to want to be prepared, get other witnesses in a row, and get their own investigation done. I mean, usually, by the time the state has filed charges, the state largely has its case prepared. But maybe the defense needs time." 

If the judge does order separate trials or moves Chad's trial date up, lawyers will have to work out a solution. 

As of Wednesday evening, the joint trial is set to be held in Ada County in January 2023. However, Judge Steven Boyce has scheduled the jury trial for Vallow-Daybell to begin in Ada County on October 11 with a finish date of December 16, according to paperwork filed Wednesday. A pre-trial conference is set for Sept. 6.

But those dates could change. We'll keep you updated as events unfold.

You can view a timeline of events and all our past stories on Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow-Daybell HERE.

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Rachel Fabbi

Rachel Fabbi is a reporter, anchor and producer for Local News 8 and Eyewitness News 3.

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