On Monday, Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell used Zoom to join a hearing that was scheduled unexpectedly late last week. The status conference was scheduled last Friday. 7th District Judge Steven Boyce said that the hearing was to discuss a report regarding DNA testing.

Nate Eaton of East Idaho News reported that Boyce said, “This report could potentially taint jurors who could be called to serve in this case so it’s necessary to seal the record and close the hearing for purposes of candid discussion with counsel to discuss the DNA test report.”

Judge says he’ll decide whether to sever Daybell’s trial from Vallow on Feb. 23
Lori Vallow asks for case to be dismissed

Members of the public were asked to leave the courtroom until after the court was able to discuss the findings of testing. According to ABC 4 News, the evidence that was being tested was hair.

Previously, Deseret News said that it was possible the hair in question could have come from duct tape inside the body used to transport J.J.’s remains, but this was not explicitly stated. The court agreed to do the testing in January and the results came in on Monday.

J.J. Vallow and Tylee Ryan, Vallow’s children, went missing in September 2019. Their bodies were later found on June 9, 2020, in the yard of Vallow’s husband, Daybell.

Hair samples may be tested for DNA in Daybell case

Vallow and Daybell were investigated for the children’s deaths, along with the deaths of their former spouses. They were both charged with conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and grand theft by deception for the deaths of Tylee Ryan and J.J. Vallow. They were additionally charged with first-degree murder for the deaths of Tylee Ryan and J.J. Vallow.

What happened when the court reconvened

After the court discussed the report of the DNA testing, the court reconvened.

Then, Eaton reported that the attorneys went back to the judge’s chambers and the court was cleared again. The court convened again at that point and Boyce said that due to the state receiving the DNA testing report on Monday, the hearing scheduled for Monday would be postponed until Thursday.

What happened at the pretrial conference

The pretrial conference was held on Friday.

A timeline of the Lori Vallow-Chad Daybell murder case

At the pretrial conference, Daybell’s attorney John Prior motioned to sever his case from Vallow’s. Prior argued that the defense didn’t have enough time to swift through all of the evidence that was being provided to them in the last couple months leading up to the trial, per ABC 4 News. The prosecution said that Prior had sufficient time and that they thought the trial should proceed.

Boyce said that he would issue a decision in writing on that particular motion. The prosecution also motioned that Vallow not be able to use mental health as a defense. Vallow’s attorney Jim Archibald said that Vallow doesn’t believe that she will be convicted and that evidence related to her mental health would then only be used after conviction in a sentencing trial, according to ABC 4 News.

Currently, Daybell and Vallow are scheduled to begin trial on April 3 in Ada County, Idaho.