Lori Vallow Daybell’s competency status unchanged; trial date to be moved

Lori Vallow Daybell and Chad Daybell. File photos: Rexburg (Idaho) Police Department

ST. ANTHONY, Idaho, Sept. 9, 2021 (East Idaho News/Gephardt Daily) — Lori Vallow Daybell, accused in the deaths of her two youngest children, is still not fit to participate in her own court proceedings, a judge has determined.

On Wednesday, District Judge Steven Boyce made the decision to extend her time in a state mental hospital by at least 180 days, East Idaho News reported.

Daybell was committed to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare on June 8 after a mental health professional said she was not competent to stand trial. Last month, Boyce asked for a progress report on her condition after getting letters asking for her commitment to be extended. By law, he was required to review the status of her case within 90 days of the initial commitment.

Daybell and her husband Chad Daybell are charged with multiple counts of conspiracy to commit murder and first-degree murder, among other crimes. The charges are in relation to the deaths of 7-year-old Joshua “J.J.” Vallow, 16-year-old Tylee Ryan — two of Lori’s kids — and Chad’s first wife, Tammy Daybell.

Tammy Daybell. Photo via East Idaho News

Chad Daybell also appeared during the Zoom hearing with his attorney, John Prior, to discuss moving his November trial to a later date.

Boyce explained the prosecution and defense still need to continue the exchange of evidence and a change of venue hearing still needs to be held.

Additionally, Prior also filed a motion Tuesday, asking the trials for Lori and Chad to be held separately. In the motion, Prior says Chad can not have a fair trial if it is held alongside his wife.

A change of venue hearing for Chad is scheduled for Oct. 5 and 6 at the Fremont County courthouse. A trial will not be set until after the change of venue hearing.

A portion of the hearings was also taken off the record after about 10 minutes.

J.J. Vallow and Tylee Ryan at Yellowstone. Photo courtesy F.B.I.

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