Advertisement

Chad Daybell trial live: Jury hears about exhumation of ‘cult’ author’s ‘healthy’ late wife

An Idaho jury heard about the exhumation of Chad Daybell’s former wife Tammy Daybell at his triple murder trial on Monday.

Tammy Daybell died on 19 October 2019, of what was originally reported as natural causes. Authorities later grew suspicious and her body was exhumed for an autopsy, which determined she died of asphyxiation.

Prosecutors said Daybell’s “desire for sex, power, and money” led to the murders of his former wife Tammy Daybell and Vallow’s children, Tylee, 16, and JJ, seven.

Daybell’s defence attorney John Prior, however, said his client was manipulated by Vallow

Last week, Rexburg police detective Rey Hermosillo recalled the horrific process of digging up the remains, which appeared to spark a reaction in Daybell, who began to shake, according to spectators at the Ada County Courthouse in Boise, Idaho.

Last year, Vallow was convicted in the three murders and sentenced to life in prison. Jurors heard how she, Daybell and her late brother Alex Cox were fuelled, in part, by their bizarre cult beliefs.

If convicted, Daybell faces either the death penalty or life in prison.

Key points

  • Who is Chad Daybell?

  • What are the charges against Chad Daybell

  • What is the bizarre ‘doomsday’ cult at centre of murders

  • Uncle of Lori Vallow believes ‘cult mom’ would love to testify for husband Chad Daybell

Video: Officer describes finding remains of Chad Daybell’s stepdaughter

01:00 , Andrea Cavallier

Nicole Heideman - FBI Tactical Specialist - is next witness

Monday 15 April 2024 21:52 , Andrea Cavallier

Court is back in session following the afternoon break.

The prosecution calls Nicole Heideman, FBI Tactical Specialist, to the stand.

She also testified in Lori Vallow’s trial last year.

Ms Heideman will be the last witness of the day.

Celebration of Life to be held for JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan

Monday 15 April 2024 21:30 , Andrea Cavallier

A Celebration of Life will be held on 27 April to honor Joshua “JJ” Vallow and Tylee Ryan.

JJ’s grandparents, Larry and Kay Woodcock, will be hosting the memorial at the Colonial Theater in Idaho Falls, according to EastIdahoNews.com.

“It’s going to be a celebration of two children whose lives were taken way too early,” Larry Woodcock told the outlet.

“We have so many wonderful friends here – friends that we’ll have for a lifetime – and we think it’s time to appreciate the lives of Tylee and JJ.”

The bodies of Tylee and JJ were found on Chad Daybell’s property in June 2020. Their remains were released to family at the end of last year.

Visitation hours will be from 11am-1pm MT followed by a service from 1 to 2pm.

The memorial will be streamed on EastIdahoNews.com.

Tylee Ryan and Joshua ‘JJ’ Vallow (Family handout)
Tylee Ryan and Joshua ‘JJ’ Vallow (Family handout)

Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow were holding hands at Hobby Lobby 12 days after Tammy Daybell died

Monday 15 April 2024 21:15 , Andrea Cavallier

On redirect, Wixom asks Lt Powell if he was aware the kids were missing - which he replied yes. He then asks Lt Powell if he was aware Daybell and Vallow were together at the time of the exhumation. He said yes.

He was made aware of Tammy Daybell’s death on 19 October 2019.

Daybell and Vallow were spotted holding hands at Hobby Lobby 12 days later – on 1 November 2019.

Defence questions Lt Powell about ‘digging Tammy out of the ground’

Monday 15 April 2024 21:00 , Andrea Cavallier

In cross-examination, Daybell’s defence attorney John Prior shows the court Tammy Daybell’s death certificate and asks if Lt Powell had looked at it. He says he did not.

“You went to a judge to have her dug out of the ground and you didn’t even once look at the certificate of death!?” Prior asks.

Lt Powell responds, “Nope.”

Lt Powell testifies that Tammy Daybell ‘appeared to be healthy’ so he got a warrant for exhumation

Monday 15 April 2024 20:51 , Andrea Cavallier

Lt Powell testified that he ran Tammy’s name through a law enforcement prescription program to find out if she was on any medicine.

She was on Tramadol, which is for pain, and Fluoxetine, an antidepressant.

Lt Powell says when dealing with unattended death cases, it’s typical to get medical records. He says Tammy’s past medical history is pretty normal other than depression.

“She appeared to be healthy so I got a warrant for exhumation,” Lt Powell says.

Tammy Daybell’s aunt wipes tears from eyes as autopsy photo is show in court

Monday 15 April 2024 20:45 , Andrea Cavallier

Vicki Hoban, the aunt of Tammy Daybell, is in the courtroom wiping her tears as an autopsy photo of Tammy is shown to the jury.

Larry and Kay Woodcock, the grandparents of slain 7-year-old JJ Vallow, are also in the courtroom today.

Watch: New video shows Chad Daybell telling daughter ‘I’m not coming back’

Monday 15 April 2024 19:20 , Andrea Cavallier

Court on lunch break

Monday 15 April 2024 19:10 , Andrea Cavallier

Court is on lunch break for an hour.

Proceedings will resume at 3pm ET.

Lt Joe Powell is still under oath and will return to the stand following break.

Lieutenant testifies about surveillance on Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow

Monday 15 April 2024 19:06 , Andrea Cavallier

Lt Joe Powell testified about the surveillance he was conducting on Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow.

He was at Vallow’s apartment on Pioneer Road when he saw Daybell leaving on the morning of 1 November 2019.

He followed Daybell to Mountain America Credit Union and then lost him so went back to the apartment. They then followed Vallow to the post office in Sugar City, then to Walgreens and then followed both Vallow and Daybell as they left the apartment, went to a credit union in Idaho Falls and then to Hobby Lobby and Cafe Rio.

A photo was shown in court of Daybell and Vallow holding hands as they walked into Hobby Lobby. Another photo was of the couple eating inside Cafe Rio.

Fremont County Lt. Joe Powell Joe is testifying

Monday 15 April 2024 18:54 , Andrea Cavallier

The next witness for the state is Fremont County Lt. Powell Joe.

On  31 October 2019, Lt Powell got a call from law enforcement in Arizona inquiring about Tammy Daybell’s death.

The investigators asked for a copy of the death report.

Detective says Daybell looked over in direction of fire pit where Tylee’s remains were. later found

Monday 15 April 2024 17:47 , Andrea Cavallier

Detective Wheeler testified that while Chad Daybell was in the back of the patrol car, he had looked over in the direction of the fire pit where Tylee’s remains were later found.

At the time Daybell was being detained, only JJ’s body had been found.

‘We are independent - I’m not Colby,’ Daybell’s daughter says during his arrest

Monday 15 April 2024 17:43 , Andrea Cavallier

As Chad Daybell is being detained while investigators dig up the bodies of Lori Vallow’s children, he tells his daughter Emma that neighbors will be talking.

Court saw the new video footage from the patrol car on Monday.

She tells him the neighbors are already talking.

“We’re ok dad. We’re ok. You raised us so we are independent now. I’m not Colby,” she said, apparently referring to Colby Ryan, Lori Vallow’s son.

Daybell tells her “it will work out” and she tells him she’s going to miss him.

Daybell and daughter discuss location of remains

Monday 15 April 2024 17:32 , Andrea Cavallier

Emma tells her dad she asked the police where they found the human remains. At this point, only JJ’s remains had been found.

She said police told her the remains were found near the pond, under the tree and that there were boards over it. When Daybell responds, “OK,” Emma then says, “I can see in your face that it surprises you.”

Daybell also tells Emma that he talked to Lori for a few minutes just before he was being detained, and Emma asked if she was surprised.

“She seemed bothered and disturbed,” he says.

Court hears that Daybell’s daughter was in contact with jailed Lori Vallow

Monday 15 April 2024 17:28 , Andrea Cavallier

As Chad Daybell instructs his daughter Emma to use Telmate to communicate with him, she tells him that she has an account because she has been talking with Lori Vallow, who had already been arrested.

In the police video, Emma asks if things can be sent from Amazon to the jail and Dyabell responds that Lori would know the Amazon account. He says he has around $265 in gift certificates in his Amazon account.

Chad Daybell tells his daughter ‘I’m not coming back’

Monday 15 April 2024 17:25 , Andrea Cavallier

As Daybell discusses finances with his daughter, Emma, she promises to take care of things the best she can.

He tells her the house is essentially hers and that he will talk to John Prior about financial arrangements.

“I’m not coming back,” he says.

Court sees video of Chad Daybell detained in cop car

Monday 15 April 2024 17:14 , Andrea Cavallier

During Det Wheeler’s testimony, the state plays a video from his patrol car that shows Daybell talking to his daughter Emma after he’s been detained at his house.

He has not been formally arrested at this point.

Det Wheeler had testified just before he was put in the cop car, there were multiple times he saw Daybell looking “awkwardly“ over his shoulder toward where the investigators were searching and cadaver dogs were working on the property.

Emma comes up to the side of the car and is crying as she says “I love you so much“ and gives her dad a hug.

Daybell goes over finances with Emma and says she will be running his finances “I suppose.“

He tells her there is about $9,000 in a middle drawer in Mark’s room and also gives her the password to his bank account. He says his company business card is in the same drawer as the $9,000.

Updated camera angle shows better view of Chad Daybell

Monday 15 April 2024 16:38 , Andrea Cavallier

After numerous complaints about the court’s live stream feed over the past two weeks, it has been updated and improved for the third week of testimony.

Chad Daybell’s trial is being live streamed on Judge Boyce’s YouTube channel.

The camera angles previously showed the entire court, the judge and the witness on the stand.

Now there is a camera pointed directly at the defence table to show Daybell and his attorney John Prior.

Another angle is pointed at the courtroom and the state, while the others are at the witness and the judge.

 (Judge Steven Boyce/YouTube)
(Judge Steven Boyce/YouTube)
 (Judge Steven Boyce/YouTube)
(Judge Steven Boyce/YouTube)

Detective Eric Wheeler is now on the stand

Monday 15 April 2024 16:18 , Andrea Cavallier

Detective Eric Wheeler is now testifying for the state.

He said he has worked for the Rexburg Police Department for 18 years.

He was a patrol officer in 2020 when the remains of the children were found on Chad Daybell’s property.

Det Wheeler’s role was to maintain safety and security while investigators conducted the search of Tylee and JJ.

Court hears jail phone calls between Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow

Monday 15 April 2024 16:05 , Andrea Cavallier

Deputy Kaaiakamanu explains he oversees the Telmate phone/video system that inmates use in the jail.

One of the calls is entered into evidence and it’s played in court.

Lori Vallow calls Chad Daybell and asks enthusiastically, “Hey babe. Are you OK?”

“They’re searching the property,” he responds.

“The house right now?” she asks.

“Yes. Yes,” Daybell says. “So Mark Means will be talking to you.”

Mark Means is their former attorney.

Vallow asks if they are in the house. Daybell says no and says they are on the property.

When Vallows asks if they are seizing stuff again, he responds, “They’re searching.”

Daybell says: “I’m glad you called. We’ll see what transpires.”

“K. What do you want me to do? Pray?” she says.

“Yeah, pray. And...yeah,” he says and then tells her to call Mark.

She asks if she can call him later, and he says “I don’t know. I don’t know. You can try. I’ll answer if I can.”

They exchange “I love yous” and the call ends.

State calls former Fremont County deputy to testify

Monday 15 April 2024 15:48 , Andrea Cavallier

The prosecution has called Vincent Kaaiakamanu, Chief Deputy of Madison County Sheriff’s office, to the stand on Monday.

He was with the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office at the time of the murders.

Watch live: Chad Daybell’s triple murder trial enters third week

Monday 15 April 2024 15:36 , Andrea Cavallier

The trial of Chad Daybell is entering its third week with more testimony.

It is being livestreamed on Judge Steven Boyce’s YouTube channel:

Judge rules defence cannot reference Alex Cox and Joseph Ryan incidents

Monday 15 April 2024 15:34 , Andrea Cavallier

In a hearing held before the jury was brought in and before spectators were seated, Judge Steven Boyce ruled that Chad Daybell’s defence attorney John Prior cannot reference the incidents involving Joseph Ryan and Alex Cox.

Joseph Ryan was Lori Vallow’s third husband and the father of Tylee. He was found dead in April 2018 and his death was ruled a heart attack. However, his case was reopened after Vallow’s fourth husband Charles Vallow was killed. But no foul play was suspected.

Alex Cox is Lori Vallow’s late brother. In 2007, he reportedly used a taser on Joseph Ryan in the midst of a custody dispute. But the judge ruled that Mr Prior cannot bring up these incidents.

Spectators line up outside courthouse for Chad Daybell’s trial

Monday 15 April 2024 15:03 , Andrea Cavallier

The charges against Chad Daybell

Monday 15 April 2024 13:00 , Andrea Cavallier

  • Murder of Tammy Daybell

  • Murder of Joshua “JJ” Vallow

  • Murder of Tylee Ryan

  • Conspiracy to commit murder of Tammy Daybell

  • Conspiracy to commit murder and grand theft in the death of Joshua “JJ” Vallow

  • Conspiracy to commit murder and grand theft in the death of Tylee Ryan

RECAP: Detective describes horror of finding Tylee and JJ’s remains

Monday 15 April 2024 12:00 , Andrea Cavallier

Rexburg police detective Rey Hermosillo took the court through the horrific process of digging up the remains of Tylee, 16, and JJ, seven, who were found buried on Chad Daybell’s property.

Spectators at the Ada County Courthouse in Boise, Idaho noticed the “doomsday cult” author start to tremble as the gruesome pictures were shown to the jury.

Det Hermosillo says they could only work for a few minutes because the smell was so bad.

Kids Killed Doomsday Plot Trial (Post Register no sales no mags)
Kids Killed Doomsday Plot Trial (Post Register no sales no mags)

As they dug deeper, they found bone fragments and “globs of burnt flesh starting to protrude through the dirt.”

A green object was found and started to take a “roundish shape” and “at that point we saw what appeared to be the shape of a green melted bucket that appeared to have the remains of what we assumed was Tylee charred and burned inside that bucket.”

Tylee’s remains were collected and put into a body bag.

“The smell was horrendous,” the detective said.

Tylee Ryan and Joshua “JJ” Vallow (Family handout)
Tylee Ryan and Joshua “JJ” Vallow (Family handout)

Court resumes today in Chad Daybell trial

Monday 15 April 2024 11:00 , Andrea Cavallier

The trial of Chad Daybell resumes today with the state’s next witness.

It will begin at 8.30 MT / 10.30 ET.

The identity of this witness is not yet known.

Last week, Det Hermosillo was the state’s first witness. He was dismissed for the time being, but remained under subpoena to appear later in the proceedings.

ICYMI: Lawyers make opening remarks in Chad Daybell trial

Monday 15 April 2024 09:00 , Andrea Cavallier

Who was Joshua ‘JJ' Vallow?

Sunday 14 April 2024 02:00 , Andrea Cavallier

Joshua “JJ” Vallow was last seen on 23 September 2019. In the last known picture of him, he is wearing red pyjamas – the same ones he was wearing when his remains were found nine months later. He was seven years old.

Lori Vallow and her fourth husband Charles adopted JJ in 2014. JJ is also the biological grandson of Charles Vallow’s sister Kay Woodcock.

Ms Woodcock, who was the first witness in Vallow’s tria last year, told jurors that JJ was born with some disabilities and was diagnosed with autism.

After Charles Vallow died, Ms Woodcock said she feared Vallow no longer wanted the boy.

JJ was attending Kennedy Elementary School in Rexburg, Idaho before Vallow informed them he would not be returning and that he would be homeschooled.

JJ Vallow on the day he was last seen alive (Ada County Court)
JJ Vallow on the day he was last seen alive (Ada County Court)

In November, Ms Woodcock requested a welfare check on the boy, which sparked a nationwide search.

During Vallow’s trial, Ms Woodcock and her husband Larry sobbed as graphic evidence was shown to the court.

The grandparents were regulars at the trial and as it neared the end, Mr Woodcock could be found playing “The Party’s Over” while lined up outside the court before blaring “We Will Rock You” inside.

Both songs held a special personal meaning to him and his grandson JJ and they would often sing them together, he said.

“Today is the day,” he told journalists outside the court, dressed in a “World’s Greatest Papa” t-shirt. “I’m not the world’s greatest papa… but I hope I was the world’s greatest papa to JJ and Tylee.”

Who was Tylee Ryan?

Saturday 13 April 2024 21:00 , Andrea Cavallier

Tylee Ryan, 16, was the daughter of Lori Vallow and her third husband, Joseph Ryan.

She was described by family members as “loving, and constantly laughing,” according to KPVI.

Tylee also loved spending time with her friends and watching “The Office,” but “more than anything” she loved hanging out with little brother JJ and older brother Colby Ryan, the outlet reported.

“She’s so witty … even for adults, like, she would have me laughing,” Echo Itaaehau, a family friend, told KTVK. “She could be sassy, but just super sweet and tender-hearted.”

Tylee spent most of her life in Arizona, but a week before going missing, she had moved from Arizona with her family to Rexburg, Idaho.

She was last seen on 8 September 2019, on a trip to Yellowstone National Park with JJ, her mother and Cox. A photo of the children and Cox is now widely circulated.

Tylee Ryan and Joshua “JJ” Vallow (Family handout)
Tylee Ryan and Joshua “JJ” Vallow (Family handout)

Who was Tammy Daybell?

Saturday 13 April 2024 17:00 , Andrea Cavallier

Tammy was the former wife of Chad Daybell. On 19 October 2019, the healthy 49-year-old died suddenly in her sleep.

Despite the mysterious circumstances, her husband declined an autopsy and her death was ruled from natural causes.

Less than weeks later, he married Lori Vallow.

It was only after her two children were reported missing weeks later – and authorities began delving into Vallow and Daybell, their sudden remarriage and bizarre cult beliefs – that questions began being asked about her death.

Tammy and Chad Daybell were married in 1990. He is now accused of conspiring with Lori Vallow to kill her (Facebook)
Tammy and Chad Daybell were married in 1990. He is now accused of conspiring with Lori Vallow to kill her (Facebook)

Investigators exhumed her body for an autopsy in December 2020 and found that Tammy had died “at the hands of another and died of asphyxiation.”

In a shocking moment revealed at Vallow’s trial, Daybell had predicted his wife Tammy would soon be dead.

Daybell is charged with murder in relation to her death, as well as the murders of Vallow’s two children. He’s also charged with conspiracy to commit murder for all three deaths.

Just ahead of Daybell’s trial, Tammy’s family released a statement:

 (Tammy Douglas Daybell Foundation)
(Tammy Douglas Daybell Foundation)

Who is Chad Daybell? Gravedigger, ‘doomsday’ author... now, killer?

Saturday 13 April 2024 09:00 , Andrea Cavallier

Chad Daybell dug graves while he was a student at Brigham Young University and worked as a cemetery sexton in Utah for almost 20 years.

He told the Deseret News in 1992 that he believed digging graves helped him through school.

Daybell later founded his own publishing company, Spring Creek Book Company.

He authored several fiction and nonfiction books – many of them doomsday books loosely based on the teachings centered around The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

He married his first wife Tammy in 1990 and they founded Spring Creek Book Company together in Utah – the company which published his doomsday books.

The couple had five children together and moved to Salem, Idaho, in 2015.

Among his teachings, he claimed he could teleport, could see into the future, see dead people, and that he and Vallow were part of the chosen 144,000.

Chad Daybell’s booking photo from 9 June 2020 (Rexburg Police Department via AP)
Chad Daybell’s booking photo from 9 June 2020 (Rexburg Police Department via AP)

Who is Lori Vallow and did a doomsday cult really drive her to murder her children?

Saturday 13 April 2024 05:00 , Andrea Cavallier

At Lori Vallow’s trial last year, prosecutors pinned her motive in the murders of her children on three pillars of a ‘cult playbook’: Power, money and sex.

But a survivor of one of America’s most notorious cults tells Rachel Sharp we may never know if a cult truly drove Vallow to kill.

Did a doomsday cult really drive Lori Vallow to murder her children?

Lori Vallow’s sister says she’s been ‘delusional’ for years

Saturday 13 April 2024 03:00 , Andrea Cavallier

Lori Vallow’s sister Summer Shiflet said the “cult mom” has been delusional for years.

Her comments came after Vallow’s sentencing last summer.

At the sentencing, Vallow spoke out for the first time, claiming that “Jesus Christ knows no one was murdered” and that the children and Tammy were “busy” and “happy” in heaven.

“I have known she’s been in this delusion for a while. It took me a long time to accept that and understand what was going on,” Ms Shiflet said.

“I had never seen anybody with a delusion disorder before. I didn’t know how to process that or what it looked like (but) that’s about typical of most conversations with her. It’s about her faith and there’s never any acknowledgment of what actually happened. You can’t ever really get any answers so it leads to frustrating situations.”

Who are Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow? Key players in the ‘doomsday cult’ murder case

Saturday 13 April 2024 01:00 , Andrea Cavallier

Chad Daybell is now on trial for the murders of his wife Tammy Daybell and Lori Vallow’s children JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan – almost one year after Vallow was convicted in the slayings.

JJ, seven, and Tylee, 16, went missing back in 2019, their remains later found buried on the grounds of Mr Daybell’s Chad property in Idaho.

One month after the children were last seen, Mr Daybell’s first wife Tammy, 49, died suddenly and Vallow and Mr Daybell jetted off and got married on a beach in Hawaii.

Prosecutors said that the couple conspired with Vallow’s brother Alex Cox to kill JJ, Tylee and Tammy as part of their doomsday cult beliefs – but also so they could collect life insurance money and the kids’ social security and survivor benefits.

Read about the bizarre and tragic case here:

Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow: Who are the key players in ‘doomsday cult’ murder case?

Juror from Lori Vallow’s trial shares his thoughts about Chad Daybell case

Friday 12 April 2024 23:00 , Andrea Cavallier

Chad Daybell’s children will testify at his murder trial

Friday 12 April 2024 21:00 , Andrea Cavallier

Chad Daybell’s adult children have mostly stayed out of the spotlight in the wake of their father’s arrest in the death of their mother Tammy Daybell and Lori Vallow’s two children.

But almost all of them will testify in his death penalty case in his defence.

Daybell’s attorney John Prior said in opening statements that they will detail their mother’s “health struggle” before her sudden death in 2019.

Daybell had told police his wife had died suddenly in her sleep after battling an illness, but an autopsy later revealed she died of asphyxiation.

“They’re going to talk about their mother’s use of various medical treatments she would use—oils she would put on her leg, medicine, and different herbs she would take, and that their mother was suffering from a number of maladies, and she would refuse to see a doctor,”Mr Prior said said on Wednesday.

Read more:

Chad Daybell’s children will take the stand in their father’s defence

RECAP: Detective describes gruesome discovery of JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan

Friday 12 April 2024 19:00 , Andrea Cavallier

Rexburg Detective Ray Hermosillo testified on Thursday about finding Tylee Ryan and JJ Vallow’s remains buried on Chad Daybell’s property.

He said investigators took turns digging because the smell of decomposition was so bad.

Graphic photos of the remains were shown in court, but not on the livestream. Daybell reportedly began to tremble during the testimony, court spectators said.

JJ was found in a bag that was “wrapped in dark plastic with duct tape around it.” He was still in the red pyjamas he was last seen wearing with duct tape wrapped around his head, over his mouth, and around his wrists, arms and ankles. Det Hermosillo said there were scratch marks on his neck and bruises.

Rexburg Detective Ray Hermosillo testified on Thursday about finding Tylee Ryan and JJ Vallow’s remains buried on Chad Daybell’s property (AP)
Rexburg Detective Ray Hermosillo testified on Thursday about finding Tylee Ryan and JJ Vallow’s remains buried on Chad Daybell’s property (AP)

After the boy’s body was taken to the morgue, Det Hermosillo returned to the site and said they uncovered “globs of burnt flesh starting to protrude through the dirt” that were later determined to be Tylee Ryan’s charred remains.

“At that point, we saw what appeared to be the shape of a green melted bucket that appeared to have the remains of what we assumed was Tylee charred and burned inside that bucket,” he said.

JJ’s grandmother Kay Woodcock and Tammy Daybell’s aunt Vicki Hoban were not in courtroom on Thursday for the testimony. However, JJ’s grandfather Larry Woodcock, was spotted in the gallery.

Joshua ‘JJ’ Vallow and Tylee Ryan were found buried on Chad Daybell’s property (AP)
Joshua ‘JJ’ Vallow and Tylee Ryan were found buried on Chad Daybell’s property (AP)

Reminder: No court today in Chad Daybell’s trial

Friday 12 April 2024 17:35 , Andrea Cavallier

There will be no court today in Chad Daybell’s triple murder trial.

Detective Hermosillo finished his testimony for the state on Thursday.

The next witness is not yet available, so court will be in recess until Monday.

VIDEO: Prosecutor says Chad Daybell’s 'desire for sex, power, and money’ led to triple murder

Friday 12 April 2024 13:00 , Andrea Cavallier

Chad Daybell visibly shakes while graphic photos of children’s remains are shown

Friday 12 April 2024 11:00 , Andrea Cavallier

Daybell was shaking at the defence table as graphic photos of Lori Vallow’s children’s remains were shown at his death penalty trial on Thursday.

Rexburg police detective Rey Hermosillo took the court through the horrific process of digging up the remains of Tylee, 16, and JJ, seven, who were found buried on Daybell’s property.

Spectators at the Ada County Courthouse in Boise, Idaho noticed the “doomsday cult” author start to tremble as the gruesome pictures were shown to the jury.

During opening statements this week, prosecutors said Daybell’s “desire for sex, power, and money led to the murders” of his former wife Tammy Daybell and the children of his new wife Lori Vallow, and that he sought to eliminate “obstacles” in pursuit of a life with Vallow.

Daybell’s defence attorney John Prior, however, said his client was manipulated by Vallow.

What are the charges against Chad Daybell?

Friday 12 April 2024 09:00 , Andrea Cavallier

  • Murder of Tammy Daybell

  • Murder of Joshua “JJ” Vallow

  • Murder of Tylee Ryan

  • Conspiracy to commit murder of Tammy Daybell

  • Conspiracy to commit murder and grand theft in the death of Joshua “JJ” Vallow

  • Conspiracy to commit murder and grand theft in the death of Tylee Ryan

ICYMI: Lawyers make opening remarks in Chad Daybell trial

Friday 12 April 2024 05:00 , Andrea Cavallier

RECAP: Graphic evidence about children’s remains first heard at Lori Vallow’s murder trial

Friday 12 April 2024 03:00 , Andrea Cavallier

“Cult mom” Lori Vallow was convicted of murdering her two youngest children in a case that shocked the nation with its bizarre doomsday cult ties and the tragic deaths of almost everyone close to the mother-of-three and her new husband Chad Daybell.

Shocked jurors were shown images of JJ’s body found in the shallow grave – still dressed in the red pyjamas.

Now Daybell is on trial and a different jury is hearing all the jarring evidence against the couple.

Read more:

Lori Vallow case summary: Key revelations from ‘cult mom’s’ murder trial

Who will defend Chad Daybell? His children are expected to testify

Friday 12 April 2024 00:00 , Andrea Cavallier

He’s accused of killing their mother but Chad Daybell’s adult children will take the stand in their father’s defence at his triple murder trial.

Daybell told police his wife Tammy Daybell had died suddenly in her sleep after battling an illness, but an autopsy later revealed she died of asphyxiation and he was charged with her murder.

Defence attorney John Prior said during opening statements on Wednesday morning in Boise, Idaho the children will testify about their mother’s ongoing health issues, the home remedies she would try, and her refusal to see a doctor.

Read more:

Chad Daybell’s children will take the stand in their father’s defence

Will Lori Vallow testify? Here’s what her uncle says

Thursday 11 April 2024 23:00 , Andrea Cavallier

Court dismissed until Monday

Thursday 11 April 2024 21:44 , Andrea Cavallier

Detective Hermosillo is dismissed for now and court has ended for the day.

The next witness is not yet available, so there will be no court on Friday.

Court will resume on Monday with day three of testimony in Chad Daybell’s trial.

Defence focuses on Alex Cox during cross of detective

Thursday 11 April 2024 20:40 , Andrea Cavallier

Prior asks Detective Hermosillo about the days following Tammy Daybell’s death.

“Three days after Tammy Daybell dies, Alex Cox is still sharpening knives,” he says, and Hermosillo says this is correct.

Cox is Lori Vallow’s late brother. He died of natural causes.

Prior then makes a point of saying the knives and guns were found at the home of Alex Cox, not with Vallow or Daybell.

Defence to continue cross on detective when court resumes

Thursday 11 April 2024 20:00 , Andrea Cavallier

Court is on a lunch break, but will resume around 3.10pmET.

Just before court was dismissed for lunch, Chad Daybell’s defence attorney John Prior was cross examining Rexburg police detective Rey Hermosillo.

Mr Prior attempted to discredit the investigation while placing the blame on others, including Lori Vallow and Alex Cox.

Spectators say Daybell was ‘shaking’ as graphic photos were shown

Thursday 11 April 2024 17:35 , Andrea Cavallier

During a court break, several spectators told local reporters that they noticed Chad Daybell shaking while graphic photos were being shown in court.

The jurors are being shown graphic evidence from when JJ and Tylee’s remains were found buried in Daybell’s backyard.

One woman told East Idaho News’ Nate Eaton that it looked like he had never seen the images before.

Court will resume shortly.

Who was Tylee Ryan?

Thursday 11 April 2024 17:30 , Andrea Cavallier

Tylee Ryan, 16, was the daughter of Lori Vallow and her third husband, Joseph Ryan.

She was described by family members as “loving, and constantly laughing,” according to KPVI.

Tylee also loved spending time with her friends and watching “The Office,” but “more than anything” she loved hanging out with little brother JJ and older brother Colby Ryan, the outlet reported.

This photo of Tylee Ryan and her brother Joshua “JJ” Vallow with their uncle Alex Cox was taken days before they were killed (Handout)
This photo of Tylee Ryan and her brother Joshua “JJ” Vallow with their uncle Alex Cox was taken days before they were killed (Handout)

“She’s so witty … even for adults, like, she would have me laughing,” Echo Itaaehau, a family friend, told KTVK. “She could be sassy, but just super sweet and tender-hearted.”

Tylee spent most of her life in Arizona, but a week before going missing, she had moved from Arizona with her family to Rexburg, Idaho.

She was last seen on 8 September 2019, on a trip to Yellowstone National Park with JJ, her mother and Cox. A photo of the children and Cox is now widely circulated.

Who was Joshua ‘JJ' Vallow?

Thursday 11 April 2024 17:13 , Andrea Cavallier

Joshua “JJ” Vallow was last seen on 23 September 2019. In the last known picture of him, he is wearing red pyjamas – the same ones he was wearing when his remains were found nine months later. He was seven years old.

Lori Vallow and her fourth husband Charles adopted JJ in 2014. JJ is also the biological grandson of Charles Vallow’s sister Kay Woodcock.

Ms Woodcock, who was the first witness in Vallow’s tria last year, told jurors that JJ was born with some disabilities and was diagnosed with autism.

After Charles Vallow died, Ms Woodcock said she feared Vallow no longer wanted the boy.

Larry and Kay Woodcock pushed the police to do a welfare check on JJ Vallow (Post Register no sales no mags)
Larry and Kay Woodcock pushed the police to do a welfare check on JJ Vallow (Post Register no sales no mags)

JJ was attending Kennedy Elementary School in Rexburg, Idaho before Vallow informed them he would not be returning and that he would be homeschooled.

In November, Ms Woodcock requested a welfare check on the boy, which sparked a nationwide search.

During Vallow’s trial, Ms Woodcock and her husband Larry sobbed as graphic evidence was shown to the court.

The grandparents were regulars at the trial and as it neared the end, Mr Woodcock could be found playing “The Party’s Over” while lined up outside the court before blaring “We Will Rock You” inside.

Both songs held a special personal meaning to him and his grandson JJ and they would often sing them together, he said.

“Today is the day,” he told journalists outside the court, dressed in a “World’s Greatest Papa” t-shirt. “I’m not the world’s greatest papa… but I hope I was the world’s greatest papa to JJ and Tylee.”

Family of JJ Vallow, Tammy Daybell not in court for graphic evidence

Thursday 11 April 2024 16:46 , Andrea Cavallier

Kay Woodcock, the grandmother of slain JJ Vallow, and Vicki Hoban, the aunt of Tammy Daybell, were not at the Ada County Courthouse on Thursday, according to local reporters.

The family members have been in court all week and for much of Lori Vallow’s trial last year, but their absence at today’s proceedings indicated that it was going to be a tough day.

Detective Hermosillo is currently recounting finding the children’s remains and graphic photos are being shown to the jurors, but not in court.

Detective recounts finding children’s remains in Daybell’s backyard

Thursday 11 April 2024 16:40 , Andrea Cavallier

A photo is shown in court of  a white piece of plastic with a little slit in the plastic that shows some brown hair.

Another photo shows the body of JJ wrapped in black plastic and duct tape, Detective Hermosillo tells the court.

"This is body composition. The body had begun to break down," the detective.

Det Hermosillo assisted the coroner in taking JJ’s body to the morgue before returning to Daybell’s house where he said they “assisted in a second burial site.”

“We knew from talking to family members that the pet cemetery had a little black dog statue next to a post.”

As the Evidence Recovery Team sifted through the dirt, Det Hermosillo says they could only work for a few minutes because the smell was so bad.

As they dug deeper, they found bone fragments and “globs of burnt flesh starting to protrude through the dirt.”

A green object was found and started to take a “roundish shape” and “at that point we saw what appeared to be the shape of a green melted bucket that appeared to have the remains of what we assumed was Tylee charred and burned inside that bucket.”

Tylee’s remains were collected and put into a body bag.

“The smell was horrendous,” the detective said.

Graphic evidence being shown to jurors

Thursday 11 April 2024 16:30 , Andrea Cavallier

Jurors are now seeing graphic evidence in the case.

Judge Boyce told the court that the photos will not be shown to the public in the courtroom or on the livestream.

The jury, however, will see all the exhibits entered into evidence.

Day 2 of testimony in Chad Daybell’s trial

Thursday 11 April 2024 15:30 , Andrea Cavallier

Court will resume at 10.30 ET for the second day of testimony in Chad Daybell’s triple murder trial.

Detective Hermosillo will be back on the stand.

Watch live on Judge Steven Boyce’s YouTube channel:

ICYMI: State says Chad Daybell’s desire for ‘sex, money, power’ led to murders

Thursday 11 April 2024 15:00 , Andrea Cavallier

Trial continues today with first full day of testimony

Thursday 11 April 2024 14:00 , Andrea Cavallier

The first full day of testimony in Chad Daybell’s trial will be today as Detective Hermosillo is back on the stand.

When court ended on Tuesday, the detective was explaining how the excavation of Daybell’s property progressed, and how a small body wrapped in black plastic was uncovered.

A black, round object was retrieved from the site, that Det Hermosillo described as shaped like a human head. When an incision was made into the black plastic, it revealed brown human hair according to Det Hermosillo.

It was later revealed to be JJ.

Testimony continues today at 8.30amMT/10.30amET.

Where are Chad Daybell’s children?

Thursday 11 April 2024 13:00 , Andrea Cavallier

Chad Daybell’s adult children have mostly stayed out of the spotlight in the wake of their father’s arrest in the death of their mother Tammy Daybell and Lori Vallow’s two children.

But almost all of them will testify in his death penalty case in his defence.

Daybell’s attorney John Prior says they will detail their mother’s “health struggle” before her sudden death in 2019.

Daybell had told police his wife had died suddenly in her sleep after battling an illness, but an autopsy later revealed she died of asphyxiation.

“They’re going to talk about their mother’s use of various medical treatments she would use—oils she would put on her leg, medicine, and different herbs she would take, and that their mother was suffering from a number of maladies, and she would refuse to see a doctor,”Mr Prior said during opening statements on Wednesday.

Judge extends length and scope of gag order in Chad Daybell case

Thursday 11 April 2024 09:00 , Andrea Cavallier

Judge Steven Boyce has extended the gag order he issued in the Chad Daybell case.

It has been issued to remain in effect until the trial is concluded.

The gag order prohibits “any party to this case, including the prosecuting attorney, defense attorney, and any attorney representing a witness, victim, or victim’s family” from making writen or oral statements about the case until April 15 or after opening statements.

However, the prosecution – Fremont County Prosecuting Attorney Lindsey Blake and Madison County Prosecuting Attorney Rob Wood asked the judge on Monday to extend the motion until the end of the trial.

Ddefence attorney John Prior agreed.

All the attorneys said a gag order would “benefit the administration of a fair trial” due to media coverage.

“Investigators, law enforcement personnel, and agents for the prosecuting attorney or defense attorney, and essential court staff directly involved in the trial in this case, are prohibited from making extra judicial statements (written or oral) concerning this case between 28 March 28, 2024 and the conclusion of the trial in this case,” Judge Boyce wrote.

RECAP: Defence says Daybell was manipulated by Lori Vallow

Thursday 11 April 2024 05:00 , Andrea Cavallier

In opening statements, Chad Daybell’s defence attorney John Prior said his client lived a normal, faith-focused life before he met Lori Vallow.

He described Vallow as a “beautiful, vivacious person” who drew Daybell into an extramarital relationship.

“What’s important are facts and evidence,” Mr Prior told the jury. “Don’t be distracted by speculation, don’t be distracted by guesses or suspicions or hunches. It all comes down to facts and evidence.”

Mr Prior also said he would present several experts in DNA, forensics and medicine who would testify that it’s impossible to determine what caused Tammy’s death and that none of Daybell’s DNA was found with the children’s bodies.

RECAP: State says Daybell crafted an ‘alternate reality’ so that he could fulfill ‘his desire for sex, money and power’

Thursday 11 April 2024 03:00 , Andrea Cavallier

During opening statements on Wednesday in Boise, Idaho, the prosecution said Daybell crafted an alternate reality so that he could fulfill “his desire for sex, money and power.”

That desire is what led to the murders of his wife Tammy Daybell, and Lori Vallow’s two children Tylee and JJ, prosecutor Rob Wood said.

Mr Wood said Daybell described both children as being possessed before they disappeared, and that he repeatedly predicted to friends that Tammy would soon die.

“When he had a chance at what he considered his rightful destiny, he made sure no person and no law would stand in his way,” he said.

The bodies of the children were eventually found buried in Daybell’s yard. Tylee Ryan’s remains had been dismembered and burned, and JJ’s remains were bound.

Prosecutors say the couple justified the three killings by creating a detailed and apocalyptic belief system, part of an elaborate scheme to eliminate any obstacles to their relationship and to obtain money from survivor benefits and life insurance.

Mr Wood told jurors that the evidence in the case will show that Daybell and Vallow manipulated her brother Alex Cox into doing their bidding by promising him spiritual rewards.

Chad Daybell’s children will take the stand in their father’s defence

Thursday 11 April 2024 01:00 , Andrea Cavallier

Chad Daybell told police his wife Tammy Daybell had died suddenly in her sleep after battling an illness, but an autopsy later revealed she died of asphyxiation and he was charged with her murder.

Now, five years later, his adult children will take the stand at his triple murder trial in his defence to testify about their mother’s ongoing health issues, the home remedies she would try, and her refusal to see a doctor, defence attorney John Prior said during opening statements on Wednesday morning in Boise, Idaho.

The prosecution says Daybell’s desire for ‘sex, money and power is what led to the disturbing murders of Tammy, and the two children of his second wife Lori Vallow, who was convicted last year.

Read more:

Chad Daybell’s children will take the stand in their father’s defence

Last known photo of JJ Vallow shown in court

Wednesday 10 April 2024 21:34 , Andrea Cavallier

A photo of JJ sitting on a couch in red pyjamas that was taken from Vallow’s iCloud account was shown in court.

The photo was taken in September 2019, the detective said.

It’s believed to be the last known photo of JJ before he was killed.

JJ Vallow on the day he was last seen alive (Ada County Court)
JJ Vallow on the day he was last seen alive (Ada County Court)

Jury sees photo of JJ, Tylee and Alex Cox

Wednesday 10 April 2024 21:30 , Andrea Cavallier

Detective Hermosillo is describing an Instagram photo of JJ, Tylee and Alex Cox that was shown to the court.

Based on metadata, the detective says the photo was taken in September 2019 at Yellowstone National Park. It’s believed the photo was taken days before the children were killed.

The detective said he never saw another photo of Tylee.

Hermosillo is also talking about the order that was issued for Lori Vallow to produce her missing children.

He says he flew to Hawaii in January 2020 to deliver the mandate. While there, two search warrants were executed. But there was no sign of children.

This photo of Tylee Ryan and her brother Joshua “JJ” Vallow with their uncle Alex Cox was taken days before they were killed (Handout)
This photo of Tylee Ryan and her brother Joshua “JJ” Vallow with their uncle Alex Cox was taken days before they were killed (Handout)

Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow never contacted Rexburg police about the missing children

Wednesday 10 April 2024 21:23 , Andrea Cavallier

Detective Hermosillo said police tried to contact Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell on their cell phones but they were turned off.

Hermosillo says neither one of them contacted Rexburg police about the missing children.

State lays out timeline for jury using detective's testimony

Wednesday 10 April 2024 21:15 , Andrea Cavallier

The prosecution is laying out a complex timeline for the jury using Detective Hermosillo’s testimony.

Chad Daybell’s defence attorney has challenged the witness multiple times.

Court is on lunch break for one hour

Wednesday 10 April 2024 19:00 , Andrea Cavallier

No evidence of JJ found in apartment units

Wednesday 10 April 2024 18:57 , Andrea Cavallier

Detective testifies that there was no evidence of JJ in either apartment 174 or 107.

In apartment 175, everything seemed to be in place, except the lack of clothing on the hangers.

“The thing that caught our attention was that there were no clothes – no clothes on the hangers.”

“It’s like somebody just grabbed the clothes and left,” he said.

Police found a child's Star Wars suitcase as well as an old prescription bottle for JJ.

They also found a storage unit rental agreement contract under the name of Lori Ryan.

JJ was nowhere to be found.

Daybell and Vallow’s brother exchanged looks when police asked about JJ’s whereabouts

Wednesday 10 April 2024 18:37 , Andrea Cavallier

Detective Hermosillo said he informed Alex Cox that it was unlikely that JJ was with his grandmother because she’s the one who called for the welfare check.

There was no response initially, he said.

Cox looked over at the defendant Daybell before responding, he said.

“At that point, I asked Alex where I could find Lori Vallow,” he added.

Cox gave police the address of an apartment in the same complex.

There was no answer.

The detective asked Cox for Vallow’s number, but he stated that he didn’t have the number.

Knowing Cox was close to his sister, he told the court: “when he did not not have his sister’s cell phone number, I assumed he was lying to me.”

Rexburg detective testifies about welfare check on JJ Vallow

Wednesday 10 April 2024 18:32 , Andrea Cavallier

Detective Ray Hermosillo told the court he was contacted about conducting a welfare check on JJ Vallow.

He  says they received a few photos of JJ from Gilbert police and JJ’s grandmother, Kay Woodcock.

The photos were found on Lori Vallow’s iCloud account.

When he arrived at the house, he was greeted by Vallow’s brother, Alex Cox.

Hermosillo said he appeared shocked, frightened when he asked if JJ was home.

Cox and Daybell exchanged looks.

Cox finally stated that JJ was with his grandmother in Louisiana.

VIDEO: Prosecutor says Chad Daybell’s 'desire for sex, power, and money’ led to triple murder

Wednesday 10 April 2024 18:12 , Andrea Cavallier

State’s first witness is Detective Ray Hermosillo

Wednesday 10 April 2024 18:02 , Andrea Cavallier

Detective Ray Hermosillo with the Rexburg Police Department is the first witness for the state.

He testified during Lori Vallow’s trial as well.

Defence concludes opening statements

Wednesday 10 April 2024 18:00 , Andrea Cavallier

Prior has concluded his opening statement.

Testimony is now starting with the state’s first witness.

Defence says jury will see no DNA evidence from Daybell on children

Wednesday 10 April 2024 17:59 , Andrea Cavallier

Prior says the jury will hear from four experts including Dr. Greg Hampikian, who is a DNA expert.

Mr Hampikian got Amanda Knox exonerated in Italy because of DNA evidence, Prior says.

“He is the guy. He’s going to talk a little bit about the DNA evidence that was found on the scene.”

Prior says Hampikian will talk about “several” hairs found on the plastic wrapped around JJ Vallow’s body.

“He’s also going to say there was no DNA evidence, no hair sample of Chad Daybell on Tylee Ryan or on JJ Vallow,” Prior tells the jury.

Defece says jury will see Daybell had nothing to do with Charles Vallow’s murder or shooting of Brandon Boudreaux

Wednesday 10 April 2024 17:55 , Andrea Cavallier

Prior tells the jury they will see that Daybell had nothing to do with the execution of Charles Vallow or the shooting of Brandon Boudreaux.

Lori Vallow is accused of conspiring to kill her former husband Charles, who was shot and killed in July 2019 by Cox. In the months leading up to his death, Charles told local police he was concerned that Vallow may hurt him or their children.

Vallow and Cox are accused of trying to kill her niece’s ex-husband, Mr Boudreaux, outside his home in Gilbert, Arizona, in October 2019. He survived the drive-by shooting.

A grand jury indicted Lori on the conspiracy charges for Charles’ death in 2021. However, she had to face charges in the deaths of her kids and Tammy Daybell in Idaho before she could face a judge in Arizona.

Chad Daybell’s children will testify at father’s trial

Wednesday 10 April 2024 17:52 , Andrea Cavallier

Prior confirmed in his opening statement to the jury that Daybell’s children will testify in defence of their father at the trial.

He said that at least three or four of the five children will take the stand.

“They’re going to talk about their mother’s health struggle,” he said. “They’re going to talk about their mother’s use of various medical treatments she would use - oils she would put on her leg, medicine and different herbs she would take, and that their mother was suffering from a number of maladies and she would refuse to see a doctor.”

Vallow’s brother Alex Cox would ‘do anything to protect her'

Wednesday 10 April 2024 17:50 , Andrea Cavallier

The defence told the jury that Alex Cox was Lori Vallow’s protector and that he would do anything for her.

Cox approached her third husband Joseph Ryan in 2007 and shot him with a Taser – years before Vallow and Daybell knew each other.

“It set the pattern for what we are dealing with with Alex Cox,” he said. “Whenever there was a problem with Lori Vallow, Alex Cox ran to the rescue.”

Prior tells the jury that Daybell and Vallow’s relationship turned inappropriate while their spouses were still alive. He then says Alex Cox shot and killed her fourth husband Charles Vallow.

Defence says Lori Vallow pursued Chad Daybell

Wednesday 10 April 2024 17:46 , Andrea Cavallier

John Prior told the jury how his client met Lori Vallow at a conference and her growing interest in him.

“She pursued him,” he said, adding that she would help him sell books.

He talked about how Daybell was married to only Tammy at the time.

“But Lori Vallow was a different story,” he said, pointing out her many marriages.

“Lori Vallow was someone who, right out of high school, married her first husband. That marriage was very short-lived – very short-lived.”

Her third marriage to Joseph Ryan was tumultuous, he said.

Chad Daybell’s mission

Wednesday 10 April 2024 17:40 , Andrea Cavallier

Prior talks about Daybell’s mission to talk to people about his religious beliefs.

When he returned home after six months, he and Tammy got married and had five children.

He talked about his client’s beliefs and his faith. And about the books Daybell wrote based on his faith.

Some of the topics he covered in his books were dark, like death – but stories and theories he wrote were fiction, Prior said.

Defence begins opening statements

Wednesday 10 April 2024 17:36 , Andrea Cavallier

Chad Daybell’s attorney John Prior begins his opening by introducing himself.

“What’s important are facts and evidence,” he begins.

He tells the jury not to be distracted by speculation.