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Chad Daybell trial day 18: Alex Cox’s widow testifies about religious beliefs

BOISE, Idaho (KIFI) - Day 18 of testimony the Chad Daybell continues at the Ada County Courthouse.

Day 18 of the Chad Daybell trial was filled with testimony of the bizarre religious beliefs of Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow.  Zulema Pastenes was called to testify Tuesday.  She was married to Lori's brother, Alex Cox and was close to Chad and Lori.  She was also a part of their fringe religious group.

Zulema shared testimony of secret meetings, blessings and prayers, zombies, light and dark spirits and information coming from angels on how to cast out demons.

Zulema: “Some new information was given to them by angels that taught them how to do a casting to finally be the way that you will be successful to finally cast out a demon.

Prosecutor: “And did she say that's what happened with Tammy?”

Zulema: “Yes.” 

Prosecutor: “And again, if a casting was successful what would happen to the body?”

Zulema: “The body would die.”

Zulema testified Tammy, Charles, JJ and Tylee all had been branded zombies by Chad. She said that Alex was being manipulated by Chad and Lori to do whatever they wanted him to do.

Prosecutor: “Did Alex believe what Chad told him?

Zulema: “A 100%”

Prosecutor: “Would Alex do what Chad asked. “

Zulema: “Yeah, especially because he would tell him what to do through a blessing and tell him that it was Jesus Christ, the one that was telling him to do that.”

As time went on and more people were coming forward about the missing children. Lori and Chad stopped communicating with Alex.

Zulema: “He said, can you believe that they're being such jerks? Now that after I help them now they don't even want to talk to me?”

Until one night when Alex received a phone call from Chad and Lori, about Tammy's body being exhumed.

Zulema: “And he seemed really weird to that Lori and Chad were calling him to tell him that the body was being exhumed something very odd and weird to me. So, I asked him, I said, they're exhuming Tammy's body? If they exhume her body, are you going to be tied to anything that happened to Tammy? And he said no.”

Zulema said that after that phone call, Alex was very somber, and started saying things that she didn't think made any sense.

Zulema: “So one of the things that he said is I think I'm being their. I'm going to be their fall guy, and I asked them what that meant, if he could explain to me what he was saying. To me, and he won't say anything to me. As I was walking out of the room after he's not explaining anything to me. He said Zulema either I am a man of God or I am not.

One day later, Alex Cox was dead. Many questioned the timing and strange circumstances surrounding his death. But according to an autopsy, Alex Cox died of natural causes.

During cross-examination by Chad's attorney, John Prior, we learned that Zulema Pastenes was given immunity from prosecution for her testimony.

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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