FREMONT COUNTY, Idaho (KIFI) - Chad Daybell appeared before Judge Steven W. Boyce Wednesday morning, but the motion hearing was not livestreamed to the public.
Daybell and his wife Lori Vallow-Daybell are 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. Chad is also charged with murder of his former wife Tammy Daybell.
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.
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.