FREMONT COUNTY, Idaho (KIFI) - Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow-Daybell appeared in court together on Thursday for the first time in months all for a hearing to determine the new date of their joint trial.
While the state strongly pushes for an October 2023 deadline, Daybell’s defense attorney, John Prior doubles down the two should not be tried together.
Prior argues his office has received 115 items of discovery or evidence, and it would take him months to prepare.
"It's still my position and Mr. Daybell's position that they should not be tried together..." said Prior. "...I'm strongly asking for October, if the court can go beyond October I'm strongly asking for the following year."
While Vallow’s attorneys remind the court that she has not waived her right to a fair and speedy trial. They set their sights on February 21, 2023.
"If it’s after that time, we believe that our client's right to a speedy trial has been violated and will make a motion to dismiss the case," defense attorney Jim Archibald said.
Considering arguments from both sides, Judge Steven Boyce set the new trial date for April 3, 2023 in Ada County.
Both attorneys have made or plan to make a motion to declare the death penalty unconstitutional which could take the penalty off the table at trial on April 3 2023.
Judge Boyce plans to hold a joint hearing on the issue.
Both Daybell and Vallow-Daybell 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.