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Attorneys for Lori and Chad Daybell once again try to separate their murder trial

FREMONT COUNTY, Idaho (KIFI) - Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow-Daybell were back in court Thursday, for what could possibly be the last public hearing before their scheduled April trial.

The two are charged with conspiracy and first degree murders of Lori’s children JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan and Chad's former spouse Tammy Daybell.

In the hearing, Chad's attorney John Prior, made another push to the separate their trial. He again used the argument of having new evidence, and the time it will take to have an expert examine it.

"We're not going to be prepared for trial on that day," Prior said. "The trial is going to start in 21 business days. To date, unless I'm mistaken there is DNA evidence that is outstanding and I don't have in my possession."

According to Fremont County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Tawnya Rawlings, the evidence in question is hair currently being tested at a private lab in California. State Attorneys expect the results of the DNA evidence by Thursday.

State Attorneys further argued that while some pieces of evidence were turned over in the preceeding weeks because they were found during trial preparations; the majority of evidence has been available to Prior since January 2021.

"The defendant has waited until the eve of trial to raise this issue," Fremont County Prosecuting Attorney Lindsay Blake said. "The defendant did not request to come and look at the discovery he's known about for two years. Now on the eve of trial, he's saying he was not given adequate time to review evidence."

Judge Boyce is taking the arguments of severing the case under advisement.

In a previous court hearing, Judge Boyce said, "If we are still on the eve of trial and the state has potentially exculpatory evidence and didn’t provide enough time for Mr. Prior to receive and have it tested…the cases may need to be severed."

In addition, Lori’s attorney Jim Archibald revealed they will not use mental health as a defense in the guilt phase of the trial. Instead they will include some aspects of mental health and Lori’s beliefs in their defense for the penalty phase.

He says Lori fully intends she will not be convicted. Larry Woodcock, the victim's grandfather, adamantly disagrees.

"I think that's an absolute unreasonable statement," Woodcock said. "I think they have nothing to base that on other than hope. And she's just as guilty today as she was then. The evidence will prove that, as far as I'm personally concerned."

The Judge Boyce didn't say when he will make a decision on separating the trial. But the trial is, at this point, scheduled to begin on April 3 at the Ada County Courthouse in Boise.

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

Article Topic Follows: Vallow-Daybell Coverage
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Seth Ratliff

Seth is a reporter for Local News 8 and Eyewitness News 3.


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