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Jury deliberations to resume Friday in Lori Vallow-Daybell trial

BOISE, Idaho (KIFI) - UPDATE 6:30 p.m. The bailiff just announced the jury is going home for the night, and they will resume Friday morning.

UPDATE 3:00 p.m. An Idaho jury is weighing the fate of a woman charged in the slayings of her two youngest children and a romantic rival in what prosecutors say was a strange doomsday-focused plot.

In final arguments Thursday, prosecutors told jurors that Lori Vallow-Daybell plotted the deaths because she wanted the victims' money.

The defense countered there wasn't enough evidence for a guilty verdict.

Vallow-Daybell and her fifth husband, Chad Daybell, are both charged with conspiracy, murder and grand theft in the deaths of the two children. Prosecutors also have charged the couple in connection with the October 2019 death of Chad Daybell’s late wife, Tammy Daybell. Chad Daybell will be tried separately.

UPDATE 2:15 p.m. The fate of Lori Vallow-Daybell is now in the hands of the jury.

Judge Boyce issued a ruling Tuesday allowing the verdict to be broadcast when it is read. This will be the first time the court will allow a broadcast of the trial. No cameras have been allowed inside the Ada County Idaho courtroom.

UPDATE 2:00 p.m. Rebuttal in the state's case against Lori Vallow-Daybell had concluded. Rob Wood re-addressed Lori being a leader not a follower.

He told the jury to make it count for Tylee, make it count for JJ and make it count for Tammy.

He finished with these words: "Lori’s behavior shows you that she is a killer. The state has met its burden Reason and common sense…reason and common sense. You must convict her.”

UPDATE 1:45 p.m. Court is back in session for the state's rebuttal in closing arguments. Rob Wood again addressing the jury.

The case could go to the jury within the next hour.

UPDATE 12:45 p.m. Lori Vallow-Daybell’s attorney is trying to put the blame on Chad Daybell.

He has made several references to Chads manipulation of her through his new religion.

Two different times he calls Chad's books stupid.

Archibald said, “Lori is following Chad because she thinks Chad is following Jesus, Chad is being led by the storm.”

As we learned earlier, the storm was a reference that Chad and Lori had for a part of Chad’s anatomy.

Archibald said, “If you find her guilty, will that bring the kids back? No. What you have to do is follow the law.”

“If there is anything we learn is that we hide from the storm, we seek shelter from the storm.”

He ended by saying Lori spent her life protecting her children.

UPDATE 12:25 p.m. Linda Larsen says she is listening to one of the most unique closing arguments she have ever heard.

Jim Archibald is giving closing statements for the defense.

He starts by giving background on Lori and saying she was a good mom.

“That changes dramatically in 2018 when she meets Chad Daybell. Quite a remarkable change. What the heck is going on? How can this be? Fast forward one year after meeting Chad, four people are dead.”

Then he started taking about the jury and how there are 18 of them right now.

He said, “Pretty soon some of you are going to get bumped, and that’s unfortunate. It’s super bad to sit here for seven weeks and then have to go home. For you alternates that get bumped, thanks again for your service.”

UPDATE 11:45 a.m. The prosecution just finished their closing arguments, and the judge has just called a brief recess before they begin with the defense closing arguments.

In his remarks, Rob Wood talked about the common thread. Who is the common thread with all these murders? It’s Lori Vallow-Daybell, he said.

He presented a timeline of the deaths and kept reiterating it was Lori who was making the decisions.

Wood says Lori is the master manipulator. “Lori is the conduit of information to her brother Alex. He believed all of it. Where did he get it? From Lori. Why does she give it to him? To justify murder,"

He also pointed to her manipulation of Chad using sex.

“Lori uses sex to manipulate Chad and Chad seeks confirmation from Lori repeatedly."

They presented several sexually charged text messages between them before and after Charles Vallow and Tammy Daybell are murdered. They also talk about Lori’s intent to get rid of the kids asking Chad where they are at on the dark scale.

"She doesn’t say maybe we shouldn’t kill my kids…She wants those kids gone."

Wood looked directly at the jury and said, “This isn’t fantasy those children were found dead in Chads back yard.”

Wood asked the jury to go back and look at each of the counts. He lists compelling evidence to convict her on all the counts.

As he concluded his remarks, there is a picture of Tylee, JJ and Tammy on the large overhead screen, Wood said, “The burden is beyond a reasonable doubt. What does your reason tell you? There is no question. Who is the common thread? What does Justice for these victims require?It requires Lori Vallow to be convinced on each and every count.Go back through the evidence and you must convict her You must convict her."

UPDATE 10:15 a.m. Closing arguments have started. Prosecutor Rob Webb started closing arguments the same way the started openings. “Money, Power and Sex” that is this case is about.

UPDATE 10:00 a.m. Judge Steven Boyce ruled the motion to acquit Lori Vallow-Daybell would be denied due to the fact there is evidence that has been presented that a guilty verdict can be based.

He said, “there was substantial evidence that was presented in trial. He then went through each individual charge and pointed out a fairly long list the things that support the possibility of finding a guilty verdict. On each charge, the jJudge found there was substantial evidence for the matter to go forward to the jury.

On every count, he denied the motion to acquit Lori Vallow-Daybell.

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho prosecutors have spent the last four weeks painstakingly detailing their case against a woman accused of killing her two youngest children and a romantic rival in a bizarre doomsday-focused plot.

On Thursday, they are expected to present their final arguments to the jury in the triple murder trial of Lori Vallow Daybell. Vallow Daybell's defense team, meanwhile, will likely attempt to persuade jurors that there simply isn't enough evidence to justify a conviction.

Vallow Daybell and her husband, Chad Daybell, are charged with multiple counts of conspiracy, murder and grand theft in connection with the deaths of Vallow Daybell’s two youngest children: 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow and his big sister Tylee Ryan, who was last seen a few days before her 17th birthday in 2019. Prosecutors also charged the couple in connection with the October 2019 death of Chad Daybell’s late wife, Tammy Daybell.

Both defendants have pleaded not guilty, but are being tried separately. Vallow Daybell faces up to life in prison if she is convicted. Chad Daybell's trial is still months away.

At times, the testimony in the case has been heartbreaking — such as when Vallow Daybell's only surviving child, Colby Ryan, accused her of murdering his siblings in a recorded jailhouse phone call.

Other testimony has been strange, like when Vallow Daybell's former friend Melanie Gibb testified that Vallow Daybell believed people in her life had been taken over by evil spirits and turned into “zombies” — including her two youngest kids. Four of the people the defendant described as “zombies” were later killed or shot at, according to the testimony.

It has also been gruesome, such as when law enforcement officers testified about finding JJ and Tylee's remains buried in Chad Daybell's yard. JJ's body had been wrapped in duct tape and plastic, and Tylee's remains had been destroyed and burned with her bones showing evidence of chopping or stabbing marks, the witnesses said. Hair belonging to Vallow Daybell was found on a piece of duct tape used to wrap JJ, a DNA analyst testified.

Vallow Daybell's defense attorneys, meanwhile, did not call any witnesses, and Vallow Daybell declined to testify. Instead, defense attorney Jim Archibald asserted that they did not believe prosecutors had proven their case, suggesting that there was not enough evidence to find beyond a reasonable doubt that Vallow Daybell committed a crime.

The case began in July 2019, when Vallow Daybell's then-husband, Charles Vallow, was shot and killed by her brother, Alex Cox, at his home in a Phoenix suburb. Lori and Charles were estranged, and he had filed divorce documents claiming that she believed she was a goddess sent to usher in the Biblical apocalypse.

At the time, Cox told police he acted in self-defense, and he was never charged in connection with the death. Cox died later that year of what authorities determined were natural causes. Lori Vallow Daybell was later charged in Arizona in connection with Charles Vallow's death; she has not yet had the opportunity to enter a plea in that case.

According to prosecutors, Vallow Daybell was already in a relationship with Chad Daybell, who was still married to his wife, Tammy Daybell, at the time. She moved to eastern Idaho with her brother and kids to be closer to Chad Daybell.

The children were last seen alive in September of 2019. Police discovered they were missing a month later after an extended family member became worried that she wasn’t able to get ahold of JJ. Their bodies were found the following summer.

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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Linda Larsen

Linda is an anchor and reporter for Local News 8.

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