The trial of Lori Vallow Daybell commenced with opening statements today. Lori faces charges for the alleged murder of her two children, Joshua “J.J.” Vallow and Tylee Ryan. She was also charged with conspiracy to commit murder in regards to her the death of her fifth husband’s first wife, Tammy Daybell.
Fremont County Prosecuting Attorney Lindsey Blake outlined the case during opening statements, saying that money, power, and sex were the driving forces behind the crimes. In response to the charges, Lori pleaded not guilty. Chad Daybell, Lori’s husband, also faces murder charges connected to the untimely deaths of Tylee, J.J., and Tammy. However, his trial will be separate.
In the packed Idaho courtroom, presided over by District Judge Steven Boyce, Lori sat between her defense attorneys Jim Archibald and John Thomas. Among those attending the trial were Chad’s attorney, John Prior, as well as J.J.’s grandparents, Kay and Larry Woodcock.
J.J. and Tylee were both reported missing by their grandparents in November 2019 after the children had not been seen since September of the same year. In June 2020, their remains were discovered buried on a property owned by Chad.
During the opening statements, the prosecution showed the jury photos of a shallow grave. That grave was where J.J. and Tylee’s remains were found. Blake mentioned that Lori had not made any efforts to locate her missing children or to distribute missing person posters. Blake also highlighted the tragic fate of J.J., who had lost his father and was subsequently wrapped in plastic and bound by duct tape. Tylee’s remains were dismembered and burned.
Judge Steven Boyce ruled in March that Lori, who had previously spent time in a psychiatric treatment facility and was deemed fit for trial, would not face the death penalty for the alleged murders.
Lori and Chad attracted police attention after a series of mysterious deaths in their past, including the death of Chad’s wife, Tammy Daybell, in October 2019. This occurred just weeks after Lori’s children went missing and shortly before Lori and Chad married.
During the opening statements, Blake disclosed that Tammy had been asphyxiated and died at the hands of another person. Blake further claimed that Lori was determined to eliminate any obstacles in her path to obtain what she wanted, which was Chad Daybell.
The trial of Lori Vallow Daybell is ongoing.