ST. ANTHONY, Idaho (KIFI) - Chad Daybell appeared in court Thursday morning on the motion to sever his trial from his wife Lori Vallow-Daybell.
John Prior, Daybell's attorney, argued it was essential to sever the cases considering the high amount of scrutiny and exposure surrounding this case. He cited the public allegations against Lori Vallow-Daybell and her brother Alex Cox in Arizona.
State Attorney Lindsey Blake calls the motion to sever premature. She argues that severance is only necessary for a Zero-Sum Game. "When to believe one defendant you need to convict the other,” she said.
Prior argues, "We’re creating a monster. This is going to be a dance between Mr. Daybell's right to a fair trial and Miss Vallow's evidentiary statements."
Judge Steven Boyce will consider both arguments and make a ruling in the coming days.
Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow-Daybell both face multiple charges of murder and conspiracy to commit murder in the deaths of Lori's children JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan along withChad's late wife Tammy Daybell. Both have pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The strange details of the case have drawn attention from around the world.
Idaho law enforcement officers started investigating the couple in November 2019 after extended family members reported her two youngest children, Joshua “JJ” Vallow and Tylee Ryan, were missing. At the time, JJ Vallow was 7 years old and Tylee Ryan was nearing her 17th birthday.
Daybell and Vallow-Daybell had married just two weeks after his previous wife, Tammy Daybell, died unexpectedly. The children’s bodies were later found buried on his property in rural eastern Idaho.
The couple was eventually charged with murder, conspiracy and grand theft in connection with the deaths of the children and Daybell’s late wife. They have pleaded not guilty and could face the death penalty if convicted.
Prosecutors say the couple promoted unusual religious beliefs to further the alleged murder conspiracies. Vallow-Daybell’s former husband, Charles Vallow, died while the two were estranged but had said in divorce documents that Vallow-Daybell believed she was a god-like figure responsible for ushering in the apocalyptical end times. Daybell wrote doomsday-focused fiction books and recorded podcasts about preparing for the apocalypse.
Friends of the couple told law enforcement investigators the pair believed people could be taken over by dark spirits, and that Vallow Daybell referred to her children as “zombies,” which was a term they used to describe those who were possessed.
Vallow-Daybell is also charged with conspiracy to commit murder in Arizona in connection with the death of Vallow. Her previous husband was shot and killed by Vallow Daybell’s brother, Alex Cox, who said it was self-defense. Cox later died of what police said was natural causes.