Chad Daybell will be tried separately from Lori Vallow, judge rules on Thursday
Daybell had waived his right to a speedy trial while Vallow had not, so the judge decided to sever the trial
On Thursday, Idaho District Judge Steven Boyce issued a ruling that the trials of Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell will be severed. Daybell will now be tried separately from Vallow, according to East Idaho News. Previously, both of them were scheduled to stand trial together on April 3.
Kaitlyn Hart, reporter for East Idaho News, said that Boyce had taken a 20-minute recess to deliberate on his rulings on the motions. Daybell had waived his right to a speedy trial while Vallow had not, so Boyce decided to sever the trial.
Daybell’s attorney John Prior had motioned to sever Daybell’s trial from Vallow’s different times throughout the case. In November 2022, Prior had said that the defense offered by Daybell’s team would differ “diametrically” from the defense offered by Vallow’s team.
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.
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.
DNA evidence in Lori Vallow trial
One of the key issues discussed in the hearing on Thursday was recently discovered DNA evidence, according to Hart. The DNA evidence was a hair sample that wasn’t available for testing until later in the investigation.
East Idaho News reported, “Based on court documents filed in July, it’s likely the hair came from duct tape inside a body bag used to transport JJ’s remains, but the new filings do not provide specifics.”
On Monday, there was an unexpected hearing regarding the DNA evidence. The Deseret News reported that the part of the hearing where attorneys discussed the evidence was sealed. On Thursday, both Vallow’s and Daybell’s attorneys said that they would need more time to evaluate this new evidence.
The prosecution argued that it gave the majority of evidence to the defense team in the process of preparing for trial, per Hart. Boyce responded, “These are capital charges — are the defense not entitled to all of the disclosure? They are entitled to all evidence — not the bulk or majority.” Throughout the pre-trial hearings, Daybell’s defense team argued that it was given evidence too late for an April trial and the prosecution has argued that it was given enough time.
Currently, Vallow is scheduled to face trial in Ada County, Idaho, on April 3. Daybell’s trial date has not been announced yet.