An attorney for Lori Vallow Daybell, the mother sentenced to multiple life sentences for murdering her children, filed an amended appeal Wednesday asking for transcripts from 35 days over the course of her yearslong legal proceedings.
The transcripts include a motion hearing in August 2022, parts of the jury trial this past March and the sentencing in July.
The amended appeal, filed by Craig H. Durham, also asks for sealed mental health reports to be confidentially included in the clerk’s record.
Attorneys for Vallow Daybell initially filed the appeal on Sept. 6, about a month after her July 31 sentencing, where she was given three life sentences in connection to the murder of her two youngest children, 16-year-old Tylee Ryan and 7-year-old JJ Vallow, and Tammy Daybell, the spouse of Chad Daybell whom she later married.
The appeal lists 16 issues attorneys intend to raise, the first questioning if Vallow Daybell, “after spending 10 months in a mental hospital, was competent to stand trial?”
Jim Archibald, Vallow Daybell’s attorney at the time, claimed there were a number of issues during the trial, some revolving around Vallow Daybell’s mental competency. He questions whether Vallow Daybell’s right to a speedy trial was violated, and why the court denied the defense’s request in November 2022 to send her back to a mental hospital.
“Did the government commit fundamental reversible error in its opening statement to the jury?” the appeal asks.
“Did the court err in allowing the government to amend the grand jury indictment two years after the indictment was filed without sending the case back to the grand jury?” another bullet point reads, presumably referring to an error in the indictment related to the grand theft charge, an issue her attorneys raised several times during the trial.
Another item in the appeal questions the court’s decision to allow the jury to hear statements of co-conspirators, “but then rule in jury instructions that the government need not prove those persons were part of the conspiracy?”
In September 2019, Vallow Daybell’s two children disappeared. It was later discovered that they had been murdered and buried in a shallow grave behind the Rexburg home of Chad Daybell, the man she was believed to be having an affair with and the apparent source of her fringe religious beliefs.
Then in October 2019, Daybell’s wife, Tammy, was killed by what investigators said was asphyxiation in her sleep, though at the time her death was ruled natural. Just two weeks later, while her children were still unaccounted for, Lori Vallow married Chad Daybell on a beach in Hawaii.
That December, Tammy Daybell’s body was exhumed and Tylee and JJ were declared missing. A court ordered Vallow Daybell to produce her children by Jan. 30, 2020. She was arrested in Hawaii about four weeks later after she failed to comply.
On June 9, 2020, police executed a search warrant and found the bodies of Tylee and JJ buried in Daybell’s backyard. Chad Daybell was arrested that day. Nearly three years later, Vallow Daybell was found guilty on six counts.
Vallow Daybell was given three consecutive life sentences in July for the murders. She also received two life sentences for conspiring to murder her children and 10 years for grand theft, with those prison terms running concurrently to the life sentences for the three murder convictions.