“She said that she would cut me up” – Lori Vallow-Daybell’s former friend takes the stand
ADA COUNTY, Idaho (KIFI) – Audrey Barattiero, a former friend of Lori Vallow-Daybell's and former follower of Chad Daybell, was first to testify in court on Wednesday. Her emotions seemed to be high as she cried multiple times during her testimony.
In February 2019, Chad had asked Barattiero to be Lori's friend. She also said around this same time Chad told her, "He had been told by a deceased relative that she (Tammy) would die before the age of 50."
Barattiero testifies teachings about 'zombies' and 'castings' came from Lori, not Chad. She had been part of casting out Charles Vallow's spirit and almost Tammy's. At the time, she says, she didn't know what she was apart of. "She (Lori) brought up all this stiff about zombies... I had never heard of that before," Barattiero said.
Barattiero spent time with Lori in Arizona, Utah, Missouri, Hawaii and Idaho. Lori stayed at Barattiero's house during her visit to Missouri.
In October 2019, Barattiero went to Hawaii with Lori and Melani Boudreaux (now Pawlowski). She describes the trip saying, "it was very uncomfortable... Melani was having a hard time and she needed a friend, and I said 'I can be a friend.'"
Barattiero ended up going to Idaho with Melani after the trip. "I have a good heart and I didn't want Melani to be alone because she was going through a hard time," she said.
While in Idaho, Barattiero testified she told Lori she wanted to go home. As she was going upstairs to pack her bags, she says, Lori flipped a switch. "As soon as I turned to go upstairs," Barattiero says, "she started laughing... She (Lori) said, 'You're so naive and too trusting, you're like a little child."
Barattiero says she was scared as Lori started making threats. "Then she threatened to kill me," Barattiero said, "She said that she would cut me up and wasn't in the mental place to do it, but would get herself in a place to do it. It would be so messy, there would be so much blood and something about bleach and trash bags. She said she would bury me where no one would find me."
In recross-examination, Lori's Attorney Jim Archibald seemed to get upset asking Barattiero why she didn't mention anything about the threat in front of the grand jury. Barattiero says she didn't say anything before because she was scared. Archibald asked, "You want the jury to believe that you didn't make this last crap up?" Barattiero responds saying, "I did not make this up."
Throughout the testimony Lori was very attentive and even gave a few smirks.
Then the court got to hear from Detective Vincent Kaaiakamanu with the Fremont County Sheriff's Office. He reviewed emails and messages from Tammy while investigating her death.
Tammy has sent an email about her attempted shooting to her son, Mark Daybell, who was on a mission at the time. Here's some of what she wrote: "It was a guy dressed in black pointing a rifle at me... Then I realized the gun was a paintball gun... For some reason I just kept asking what he thought he was doing... I hit him with my clogging shoes."
During his investigation, Det. Kaaiakamanu was able to review Google searches made by an account associated with Lori's brother, Alex Cox.
Upon his investigation, he found the account searched for directions to Brandon Boudreaux's residence the morning of his attempted shooting.
Also found were searches on October 10, 2019 for preparing an AR-15 gun for the cold weather. There was also a YouTube search for shooting a gun in freezing temperatures.
On October 12, 2019, Det. Kaaiakamanu says the account searches were alleging to look up what it would take to shoot through a Dodge Dakota. The Daybells owned a 2004 Dodge Dakota at this time.
Guns seized from Alex's Rexburg apartment were brought into the courtroom. Det. Kaaiakamanu said one of the guns could have been mistaken for a paintball gun due to the hopper that was on it.
In cross-examination with Lori's Attorney John Thomas pointed out possible suspects in the email Tammy sent. The email said a "bipolar teenager" could be suspected. The email also mentioned a couple trying to steal the neighbor's dog.
Det. Kaaiakamanu said these were not plausible suspects.
The state intended to call Ian Pawlowski as the next witness but the defense said his wife, Melani Pawlowski (formerly Boudreaux), listened or read previous testimony, which is violation of the court law.
Judge Steven Boyce allowed Ian's testimony.
He says that Lori and Chad tried to share his beliefs with him, but they never really resonated. When talking about casting out spirits Ian says, "Lori did most of the talking. Chad was there acting as a support for what she was saying."
Ian says Lori would refer to law enforcement officers, like Detective Ray Hermosillo, as zombies. He says she told him and Melani to stay away from them.
Chad and Lori were almost like parental figures to Melani according to Ian. He says they were very impressionable to her so she believed what they would tell her.
The morning after their marriage, Ian says he grew concerned after Melani, "dumped her fears" on him, telling him what she knew about Tylee Ryan, JJ Vallow and the attempted shooting of her ex-husband, Brandon Boudreaux.
Despite Chad and Lori's request to stay away from law enforcement, Ian went to the Rexburg Police Department in December 2019. Officers asked Ian to record a conversation between himself, Melani, Chad and Lori. Ian says Chad and Lori never directly confessed to anything.
The defense is preparing to play that audio recording in court on Thursday during cross-examination.
You can view a timeline of events and all our past stories on Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow-Daybell HERE.