Lori Vallow Daybell pleads not guilty to murdering her children, ex-husband, new husband’s first wife

ST. ANTHONY, Idaho, April 19, 2022 (East Idaho News/Gephardt Daily) — Lori Vallow Daybell remained silent during an arraignment Tuesday, and her attorney asked the judge to enter a not guilty plea on her behalf to murder and other charges.

The East Idaho News reported that Daybell, seated next to her attorneys, showed no emotion as District Judge Steven Boyce read out the felonies she faces in relation to the deaths of her children and the first wife of husband Chad Daybell, a former Utah resident.

Those charges include:

  • First-degree murder in the death of Tylee Ryan
  • First-degree murder in the death of J.J. Vallow
  • First-degree murder in the death of her current husband Chad Daybell’s first wife, Tammy Daybell
  • Conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and grand theft by deception in the death of Tylee Ryan
  • Conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and grand theft by deception in the death of J.J. Vallow
  • Conspiracy to commit first-degree murder in the death of Tammy Daybell
  • Grand theft related to Social Security survivor benefits over $1,000 allocated for the care of minors Tylee Ryan and J.J. Vallow that were appropriated after the children were missing and ultimately found deceased.

Archibald indicated Daybell is not waiving her right to a speedy trial and her trial is currently scheduled with Chad’s in January 2023.

This is Daybell’s first public court hearing since she was declared incompetent for trial in June 2021. After spending 10 months in an Idaho Department of Health and Welfare facility, Boyce deemed her fit for trial last week and she was transferred to the Madison County Jail, where Fremont County female inmates are housed, early Thursday morning.

J.J. Vallow’s grandparents, Larry and Kay Woodcock, along with Annie Cushing, Tylee Ryan’s aunt, were at the arraignment. As the judge discussed J.J. and his death, the Woodcocks broke down crying.

“I was very saddened to hear J.J.’s name and I am very happy with the stage we are in right now. This case is moving forward,” Larry Woodcock said during a press conference after the arraignment.

“(Lori’s) day will come. She’s going to have a miserable life and that’s all I ask for. I know that justice will be served.”

Kay didn’t think she would feel anything when Daybell walked into the courtroom, but said seeing her again was “unnerving.”

Oct. 19 was discussed as a possible date for Lori’s trial. Kay noted that is the same date that Chad’s wife, Tammy Daybell, died in 2019.

“It just shows God’s hand is in this,” Kay Woodcock said.

Kay and Larry Woodcock with their daughter on the steps of the Fremont County Courthouse during a press conference following Lori Daybell’s arraignment. Photo: Tony Blakeslee/EastIdahoNews.com

The arraignment happened about an hour after a separate hearing for Chad wrapped up. The focus of that hearing was the cost of busing jurors from Ada County to Fremont County for what was originally a joint trial. Prosecutors argued it will be significantly cheaper to have jurors brought in rather than holding proceedings in Boise. Chad’s attorney asked the court to uphold its original decision.

Boyce will issue a written ruling on the matter at a later date.

Chad also faces multiple counts of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder and insurance fraud. He pleaded not guilty to all charges and remains in the Fremont County Jail.

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