Lori Vallow’s lawyers have asked a judge to send her case to a grand jury, arguing the charges she currently faces for killing her two children are likely to confuse jurors.
The 49-year-old ‘Doomsday’ mom and her husband Chad Daybell have both pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, conspiracy and grand larceny in connection with the 2019 death of Joshua ‘JJ’ Vallow, 7 years, and 17 years. old Tylee Ryan. They were last seen alive on separate days in September 2019, and authorities discovered their remains on the rural property in Daybell, Idaho about nine months later.
The couple spent the weeks in between hiding from police in Hawaii, where Vallow was eventually arrested in February 2020. Meanwhile, Daybell was arrested in June 2020, shortly after the children’s bodies were found. were found outside his home.
On Tuesday, Vallow was chilling in Fremont County Court in Idaho. It was the first time she had appeared before a judge since being deemed mentally fit to stand trial. She mostly smiled and even laughed when her lawyer, John Thomas, asked for the charges against her to be changed, telling the judge that the indictment could pose difficulties for jurors to interpret.
“Conspiracy to commit murder and conspiracy to commit grand larceny are two separate conspiracies,” Thomas told the court. “We think it would be confusing for a jury to be able to determine what items were met, when the items were met, and how well the items were met.”
He added that Vallow only wants an impartial trial and that pursuing the current charges would be “fundamentally unfair”.
“I’m not saying the jury isn’t sophisticated enough to sort it out, but I’ve practiced law for 20 years and this particular charge has me baffled,” he said.
Prosecutor Rob Wood, meanwhile, argued there was nothing confusing about the indictment. He explained that the charges simply detailed a “criminal agreement”.
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“One was to murder Tylee Ryan and steal the Social Security money allocated to him, and the other was to kill JJ Vallow and steal and collect the Social Security money allocated to him” , Wood said. “We believe the jury will find that there was this agreement, that they agreed to commit these two crimes.”
Judge Steven Boyce said he would review the arguments and make a decision later.
Daybell, a self-published author with dozens of books detailing doomsday scenarios, did not appear in court on Tuesday. He faced additional charges for allegedly killing his previous wife, Tammy Daybell, who died in 2019. Authorities initially believed she died in her sleep, but Daybell drew their suspicions when he married Vallow three weeks later.
He received a life insurance award of $430,000.
Vallow also faces charges in Arizona, including one count of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder in the 2019 death of her fourth husband, Charles Vallow.
In 2019, Alex Cox, Lori Vallow’s brother, fatally shot Charles, citing self-defense. Cox was never charged and found dead months later in his Arizona home.
With dispatch services