Chad Daybell trial live: New witness casts doubts on cult prophet’s son’s story about mom’s death

Chad Daybell trial live: New witness casts doubts on cult prophet’s son’s story about mom’s death

A new rebuttal witness for the prosecution testified that Chad Daybell’s son Garth had told him how he found his dead mother Tammy Daybell, which is different from what Garth told the court at his father’s triple murder trial earlier this week.

Shortly after the defense rested on Thursday, Jason Abegelen, who worked with Garth at a haunted house, recalled that Garth told him how he found his mother dead in the bedroom and that his father was not there.

But Garth had testified that in the early morning hours of October 19, 2019, his father woke him up to help after finding the mother-of-five dead and halfway off the bed on the floor, tangled up in sheets.

Daybell, 55, is on trial for the death of Tammy, and the murders of Lori Vallow’s two children, Tylee Ryan, 16, and JJ Vallow, seven. Two weeks after Tammy’s death, Daybell and Vallow married on a beach in Hawaii.

It was only after the children were reported missing – and authorities began delving into the couple’s bizarre cult beliefs – that questions were asked about Tammy’s death and her body was exhumed for an autopsy. It was determined she had died of asphyxia and Daybell was charged with her murder, as well as the murders of Vallow’s children, who were found buried in Daybell’s Idaho backyard nine months after they went missing.

Prosecutors say Daybell and Vallow justified the three killings by creating an apocalyptic belief system, which was part of an elaborate scheme to eliminate any obstacles from their life.

But Daybell’s attorney claims he was manipulated by Vallow, who was convicted of the murders last year and received three life sentences.

Like Vallow, Daybell did not testify in his defense.

Closing arguments are expected to be next week and then the case will be in the hands of the jury.

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

Key Points

  • Who is Chad Daybell?

  • What are the charges against Chad Daybell?

  • The twisted case of Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell

  • Jury hears gruesome testimony about Tylee Ryan’s remains

  • Graphic texts reveal Lori Vallow’s name for Chad Daybell’s penis

ICYMI: Chad Daybell will not testify in his defense

22:23 , Andrea Cavallier

Court ends for the week

20:30 , Andrea Cavallier

Chad Daybell’s trial has ended for the week.

Court will be on break for the Memorial Day weekend and will resume on Tuesday with jury instructions.

Closing arguments will follow and the case could be in the hands of the jury by midweek.

Testimony challenges statement made by Daybell’s son

20:08 , Andrea Cavallier

First rebuttal witness is Lisa Marie Jensen

17:49 , Andrea Cavallier

The first rebuttal witness is Lisa Marie Jensen.

She worked with Tammy and Emma Daybell at the school.

Defense rests case in Chad Daybell trial

17:46 , Andrea Cavallier

After four days of witness testimony, the defense has rested its case in the Chad Daybell trial.

Attorney John Prior told the court before the break that his client will not take the stand to testify in his own defense.

The state said they will now call three rebuttal witnesses for testimony that will take one and a half to two days.

Chad Daybell will not take the stand in his defense

16:34 , Andrea Cavallier

The triple murder suspect will not take the stand in his own defense.

Judge Boyce says the defense does not intend to call further witnesses.

Boyce tells Daybell that the jurors will be told that he has a constitutional right not to testify and if he does not, it can’t be used against him during jury deliberations.

He then asked the defense if Daybell intended to testify. Prior said he does not.

The judge asks Daybell if it’s his decision not to testify.

“That is correct.”

The defense will rest when court returns from break.

‘No way to tell’ where murders took place

16:25 , Andrea Cavallier

On redirect, Prior drives home the point that there is no specific way to determine where these traumas took place.

Dr Bartelink responds that there is no way to tell.

Prior finishes testimony with Dr Bartelink and he is excused.

Expert anthropologist says parts of Tylee Ryan's remains were missing

16:20 , Andrea Cavallier

Defense attorney John Prior displays an illustration of a skeleton and asks Dr Bartelink to point out parts of Tylee that were not recovered.

“We found there were certain areas of Tylee Ryan’s remains that were absent,” Bartelink said.

Dr Bartelink believes the body was burned in whole. He does not know if the body was burned and then placed in Daybell’s backyard.

On cross, Dr Bartelink confirmed that it’s possible that Tylee’s remains could be burned within a two hour time period, but could not make that determination.

“She could have been burned on the property but it is also possible that she could have been burned elsewhere,” he said.

Expert says combustibles needed to burn body

16:15 , Andrea Cavallier

Dr Bartelink says you would need a large quantity of wood or other combustibles to burn a body over a long period of time.

He is explaining his experience and training with body burning.

“A body does not easily burn without having combustible materials.”

Dr Bartelink says you usually need other types of combustible materials because accelerants don’t usually last.

Tylee Ryan’s dismembered and burned remains were found buried in Daybell’s backyard.

Defense is expected to rest today

15:35 , Andrea Cavallier

Defense attorney John Prior is expected to rest this morning.

Prosecutor Rocky Wixom said on Wednesday that the state intends to call rebuttal witnesses for further questioning.

That will last one and a half to two days.

Chad Daybell’s defense attorney arrives at court

15:14 , Andrea Cavallier

Chad Daybell’s defense attorney John Prior has arrived at court for his client’s death penalty trial as testimony nears an end.

Prosecutors arrive at court as trial nears end

15:12 , Andrea Cavallier

Prosecutors Rob Wood and Ingrid Batey have arrived at the Ada County Courthouse for day 29 of Chad Daybell’s trial, East Idaho News’ Nate Eaton reports from Boise.

Emma Daybell Murray among rebuttal witnesses

Wednesday 22 May 2024 22:13 , Andrea Cavallier

Court is back on record as the parties discussed Emma Daybell’s testimony on the life insurance that she and her mother allegedly upped.

Emma said on the stand that “we did not consult with our husbands” when they signed the life insurance forms. Judge Boyce said he will allow the state to question Emma about the statement when rebuttal witnesses are called.

Boyce previously determined that a statement made by Janice Olson, Tammy’s co-worker, about changing Tammy’s life insurance policy could not be admitted. But because Emma then brought up the issue during her testimony later in the trial, the state wants to be able to bring in the statement.

Boyce says there are two other potential witness issues relating to Det. Ray Hermosillo and Dep. Colter Cannon.

Prosecutor Rocky Wixom says Hermosillo was released from his subpoena but the state wants to recall him as a rebuttal witness. He says the detective has been hyper vigilant at not watching any part of the trial. However, Prior does not want Hermosillo recalled.

“I am extremely skeptical that Officer Hermosillo did not discuss the case with any other officers involved,” he said.

Boyce assures Prior that Hermosillo will be placed under oath like other witnesses so he will need to tell the truth about whether or not he watched the trial or discussed it with others.

Wixom says the rebuttal case will take one and a half to two days and the questioning will be narrow and focused.

Court will resume tomorrow at 8:30am MT/10:30am ET where a proposed schedule will be presented to the court.

Court ends for the day

Wednesday 22 May 2024 21:13 , Andrea Cavallier

Judge Boyce has dismissed the public from the courtroom.

Jurors, the attorneys and the judge will remain in the courtroom to discuss scheduling.

Court is in recess until tomorrow.

No evidence of Daybell’s DNA

Wednesday 22 May 2024 20:20 , Andrea Cavallier

Dr Hampikian says he found there was no evidence that Chad Daybell’s DNA was present on anything that was tested.

He testified about the hairs found on the adhesive that was used to bound JJ Vallow.

Some of the hairs were brown, some were short dark hairs, and one was blonde.

Dr. Greg Hampikian returns to the stand after lunch

Wednesday 22 May 2024 20:17 , Andrea Cavallier

Dr. Greg Hampikian is back on the stand after lunch.

Earlier, he had started to testify about the various ways DNA can be transferred from people and objects.

Lawyer fined for wasting the court’s time in Chad Daybell trial

Wednesday 22 May 2024 20:15 , Andrea Cavallier

A lawyer who tried to stop Chad Daybell’s trial just two days before it was scheduled to begin has been ordered to pay a fine for wasting the court’s time, Judge Steven Boyce ruled this week, local outlet ABC8 reported.

Terry Ratliff, who was not affiliated with the state or the defense, filed a motion full of errors on March 29, 2024, the Friday before jury selection began.

At a hearing, Judge Boyce chastised Ratliff for the motion, telling him: “When I reviewed this, I was angry, and I’m angrier now in light of what you did.”

“This caused real loss for the attorneys and the court,” he added.

According to the ruling, “Counsel for the defendant has submitted documentation that he spent three hours addressing the frivolous pleading, including attending the hearing on April 18. Counsel further has represented to the Court that his normal hourly rate is $350.00/hour.”

“The Court finds both the time claimed and hourly rate are reasonable, resulting in attorney fees of $1,050.00.”

“The State of Idaho has represented to the Court that prosecutors collectively spent 2.75 hours addressing the pleading and have requested fees at the rate of $65/hour, for a total of $178.75.”

“Therefore, the Court sanctions Ratliff the sum of $1,228.75. Ratliff has 30 days to make the payments directly to the lawyers or he will be held in contempt of court.”

Independent forensic pathologist says Tammy’s cause of death should he ‘undetermined’ - not homicide

Wednesday 22 May 2024 18:00 , Andrea Cavallier

Defense witness says phone data doesn’t show Chad Daybell on property day Tylee Ryan was killed

Wednesday 22 May 2024 17:51 , Andrea Cavallier

The first defense witness of the day is a digital forensic examiner Patrick Eller, who is also the CEO of Metadata Forensic.

He testified that the phone data he reviewed doesn’t show Daybell on his property in Rexburg, Idaho, on the day Tylee Ryan was allegedly killed.

“There was a lot of other devices – there are more records than what you see here,” he said.

However, on September 9, there are multiple data points showing Alex Cox’s device was at or near Daybell’s property between 9:15 a.m. and 11:45 a.m.

Is Chad Daybell’s trial nearing an end?

Wednesday 22 May 2024 17:00 , Andrea Cavallier

The defense could rest this week as Chad Daybell’s triple murder trial nears the end.

Several witnesses have already testified for the defense, including two of Daybell’s adult children, Emma Murray and Garth Daybell, as well as son-in-law Joseph Murray.

They testified about Tammy Daybell’s health leading up to her death in October 2019.

An independent forensic pathologist testified on Tuesday that Tammy Daybell’s cause of death should have been ruled “undetermined” instead of “homicide.”

This contradicts the official autopsy from Dr. Lily Marsden and Dr. Erik Christensen after her body was exhumed.

After the defense rests, prosecutors may call rebuttal witnesses, before jury instructions are given. Only then will closing arguments be presented to jurors.

Defense attorney arrives at court

Wednesday 22 May 2024 16:00 , Andrea Cavallier

Chad Daybell’s defense attorney John Prior is seen walking into court in Boise, Idaho on Wednesday morning.

The defense will continue its fight today.

Digital forensics examiner Patrick Eller on the stand

Wednesday 22 May 2024 15:45 , Andrea Cavallier

The defense has called Patrick Eller to the witness stand.

He is the CEO of Metadata Forensic and a digital forensics examiner.

ICYMI: Chad Daybell is accused of killing a mother of five. Her children took the stand in his defense

Wednesday 22 May 2024 15:02 , Andrea Cavallier

Two of Chad and Tammy Daybell’s adult children testified that their mother’s health had been deteriorating months leading up to her death.

It was in defense of their father who has been accused of murdering her.

Andrea Cavallier reports:

Chad Daybell is accused of killing their mom but they took the stand in his defense

RECAP: Chad Daybell’s defense calls on his children to testify

Wednesday 22 May 2024 03:00 , Andrea Cavallier

WATCH: Tammy’s cause of death should be 'undetermined’

Wednesday 22 May 2024 00:00 , Andrea Cavallier

Defense will continue with a new witness on Wednesday

Tuesday 21 May 2024 22:30 , Andrea Cavallier

Court has ended for the day.

The defense will continue with a new witness on Wednesday at 10:30am ET / 8:30am MT.

Today, the court heard from Dr Kathy Raven, who is board certified in anatomic, clinical, and forensic pathology and has worked in the area of forensic pathology for over 19 years.

The court also heard from Asmir Kararic, who is an investigator with the Idaho Attorney General’s Office, as well as retired Rexburg Police Detective Rick Schmitt.

Court resumes with new witness

Tuesday 21 May 2024 19:42 , Andrea Cavallier

Court is back after lunch.

The defense has called the next witness to the stand.

Asmir Kararic is an investigator with the Idaho Attorney General’s Office.

Court breaks for lunch

Tuesday 21 May 2024 18:32 , Andrea Cavallier

Court is on break for lunch until 12:30pm ET.

Defense is still expected to call two more witnesses today.

Defense appears to call Tammy Daybell’s death a ‘murder’

Tuesday 21 May 2024 18:30 , Andrea Cavallier

While questioning forensic pathologist Dr Kathy Raven, defense attorney John Prior called Tammy Daybell’s death a murder.

The defense has been arguing that Tammy’s death was a result of her history of illness, relying noting testimony from her children who say she was often sick.

At one point in the redirect, Prior asks Raven: “Is that an example of confirmation bias when you take into account all of these other reports and statements of people who are not present at the murder?”

Several spectators invested in the trial took to X, previously Twitter, to point out the snafu.

Dr Raven says she is board certified in anatomic, clinical, and forensic pathology and has worked in the area of forensic pathology for over 19 years. She said she would call Tammy’s death “undetermined.”

Defense has two more witnesses set to testify today

Tuesday 21 May 2024 18:03 , Andrea Cavallier

Defense attorney John Prior told the court he has two more witnesses who are set to testify today.

He did not name the witnesses.

Court is on break and will resume when the first witness arrives.

The second witness is set to take the stand after lunch.

Daybell introduced children to Lori Vallow one day after Tammy’s funeral

Tuesday 21 May 2024 17:56 , Andrea Cavallier

Chad Daybell introduced his children to Lori Vallow one day after a funeral was held for his wife Tammy Daybell, who died in October 2019, Daybell’s son-in-law Joseph Murray testified on Tuesday.

Joseph Murray, who is married to Daybell’s daughter, told the court that the children and Vallow met at the Daybell home – where Tammy was found dead on 19 October 2019.

He said it was the only time he met Vallow.

How did Tammy Daybell die?

Tuesday 21 May 2024 16:00 , Andrea Cavallier

Chad Daybell’s first wife Tammy Daybell died by asphyxiation – and not peacefully in her sleep as was originally claimed.

Tammy, an otherwise healthy 49-year-old, died suddenly in her sleep on 19 October 2019 – just one month after Lori Vallow’s two children JJ and Tylee disappeared without a trace.

Despite the mysterious circumstances, her family declined an autopsy and Tammy’s death was ruled to be from natural causes.

Less than a month later, Daybell and Vallow married on a beach in Hawaii.

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

It was only after the two children were reported missing – and authorities began delving into Daybell and Vallow’s bizarre cult beliefs – that questions began being asked about Tammy’s death too.

In December 2019, investigators exhumed her body for an autopsy.

This led to Daybell and Vallow being charged with her murder.

Daybell trial resumes with defense witness

Tuesday 21 May 2024 15:31 , Andrea Cavallier

Court resumes today at 10:30am ET / 8:30am MT in Ada County, Idaho.

Joseph Murray, Chad Daybell's son-in-law, will be back on the stand this morning.

Mr Murray is the husband of Daybell’s daughter Emma, who testified yesterday in defense of her father.

RECAP: Chad Daybell’s defense calls on two of his children

Tuesday 21 May 2024 14:30 , Andrea Cavallier

Where is Lori Vallow?

Tuesday 21 May 2024 11:00 , Andrea Cavallier

Chad Daybell’s former wife Tammy and Lori Vallow’s children weren’t the only victims as her descent into cult beliefs led to a trail of death and destruction in her wake.

She’s now jailed in Arizona on charges for conspiring to kill two other people.

Andrea Cavallier reports:

Why is Lori Vallow facing fresh murder conspiracy charges in Arizona?

WATCH: Bizarre phone call revealed in Chad Daybell trial

Tuesday 21 May 2024 09:00 , Andrea Cavallier

What are the charges against Chad Daybell?

Tuesday 21 May 2024 05:00 , Andrea Cavallier

Chad Daybell was arrested on 9 June 2020 and booked into the Fremont County Jail after the remains of Lori Vallow’s children were found in his Rexburg, Idaho backyard.

He had left the house during the search as Rexburg Police, Fremont County Sheriff deputies and the FBI swarmed the property and began a dig that lasted for hours. But he was arrested a short time later.

Daybell has shown little to no emotion at his court appearances over the past four years.

On 21 March, he was transferred from Fremont County Jail to the Ada County Jail in Boise in preparation for his trial.

Daybell is charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder in the deaths of the two children and the death of his former wife Tammy. He’s also charged with insurance fraud.

Prosecutors say that the couple conspired with Vallow’s brother Alex Cox to kill the children and Daybell’s wife both as part of their doomsday beliefs – but also to collect life insurance money, the kids’ social security and survivor benefits.

Watch: Video shows Chad Daybell discussing finances with daughter as he tells her ‘I’m not coming back’

Tuesday 21 May 2024 03:00 , Andrea Cavallier

RECAP: Was Chad Daybell almost acquitted of murder because of a typo?

Tuesday 21 May 2024 01:00 , Andrea Cavallier

A typo in Chad Daybell’s triple murder indictment doesn’t mean that he should be acquitted of one of the deaths, Judge Steven Boyce said Thursday.

Shortly after prosecutors closed their case, the judge alerted the attorneys to a major error: The date of 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow’s death was wrong in the indictment.

That sparked a flurry of arguments over whether the problem could be fixed or if Daybell should simply be acquitted of that charge.

“We’re all kind of falling on our sword here,” special assistant attorney general Ingrid Batey told the judge Thursday, describing the issue as “clearly a clerical error.”

Boyce ultimately agreed with prosecutors, describing it as an “inadvertent mistake” and saying jurors could be given special instructions allowing them to still consider the full case.

WATCH: Chad Daybell’s daughter testifies in his murder trial

Monday 20 May 2024 23:00 , Andrea Cavallier

Court dismisses for the day

Monday 20 May 2024 22:35 , Andrea Cavallier

Court is over for the day.

Testimony will continue tomorrow at 10:30am ET/ 8:30am MT.

Garth Daybell testifies about finding mother’s body

Monday 20 May 2024 20:27 , Andrea Cavallier

Chad Daybell’s son Garth testified about the day his mother Tammy Daybell died.

Tammy told him: “I don’t feel good today. I don’t want to cook. Can you go get some McDonald’s for us?”

So Garth drove to Rexburg, Idaho and picked up food for himself, mom and dad. It was Tammy’s last meal.

He left for a night job and when he returned around 1am, he went to bed and stayed up until 3am watching YouTube.

“As I passed their bedroom, I heard my father snoring,” he said.

He said he didn’t see any sign of a struggle or fight - as far as he knew, it was a normal night.

Garth was awakened a few hours later by his dad saying, “Garth, Garth get up. I need help.”

When Garth got to the bedroom, he saw his mother had rolled out of bed and her feet were tangled in the sheets. He got her back into bed and said she felt stiff.

“I felt she was cold and stiff and gray. I realized she had been not breathing.”

He said if there had been a struggle or fight, he would have heard it. He says he heard nothing.

Court on lunch break

Monday 20 May 2024 18:55 , Andrea Cavallier

Court will be in recess for lunch until 3pm ET/ 1pm MT

Garth Daybell admits he’s nervous after switching details in testimony

Monday 20 May 2024 18:51 , Andrea Cavallier

Garth’s testimony begins with Prior asking about who drove the Dodge Dakota prior to 2017. Garth said it was his father and said after 2017, his mother Tammy was the driver. But Garth then stopped himself and said he had it backwards.

Garth started over with Prior’s encouragement and said that at the time of his mother’s death, his dad was driving the Dodge Dakota.

When Prior asks Garth if he’s nervous, he says he is and considers himself pretty shy.

Chad Daybell’s son Garth takes the stand

Monday 20 May 2024 18:44 , Andrea Cavallier

The next witness for the defense is Chad Daybell’s son Garth Daybell.

Like with Emma, attorney Prior tells Garth to let him know if he needs to take a break.

‘He doesn’t like dogs’

Monday 20 May 2024 18:23 , Andrea Cavallier

The defense asked Emma about the pets and others animals buried in the pet cemetery – something her mother Tammy took care of. He pointed out that it would be unusual for Daybell to be tending to it.

Prior also asks Emma if her father owned a dog, a question that sparked conversation on social media, with many commenting Daybell’s dislike for dogs is a “red flag”

“My father did not own a dog,” she said. “He doesn’t like dogs.”

Chad Daybell’s daughter says he taught her about death percentages and castings – but not zombies

Monday 20 May 2024 18:14 , Andrea Cavallier

Emma Murray says her dad taught her about death percentages and castings – but not zombies.

“Are you still alive?” Attorney Blake asks.

Emma responds, “Yes.”

Ms Blake asks if when her dad taught her about castings, he told her anything about the body having to be destroyed or had to die. Emma says no.

She said her dad never talked to her about Alex Cox and also never talks to her about Lori Vallow before Tammy died.

EARLIER: Crowds line up outside courthouse to hear defense in Chad Daybell’s trial

Monday 20 May 2024 18:02 , Andrea Cavallier

State questions Daybell’s daughter on cross-examination

Monday 20 May 2024 17:56 , Andrea Cavallier

Prosecuting attorney Lindsey Blake is questioning defense witness Emma Murray on the stand.

She’s attempting to poke holes in Emma’s testimony about her mother’s health and her knowledge of the missing children.

‘I was told the children were in a safe place’

Monday 20 May 2024 17:34 , Andrea Cavallier

After the morning break, Emma returns to the stand.

She is asked by Daybell’s attorney about the family traveling to California - and Lori Vallow traveling separately to California to join them.

When Prior asks if the location of Vallow’s missing children Tylee and JJ was discussed at that time, she responds: “From my understanding, I was told that the children were in a safe place.”

Tammy Daybell and daughter increased life insurance policies without consulting husbands

Monday 20 May 2024 17:02 , Andrea Cavallier

Emma Murray told the court on Monday that both she and her mother Tammy Daybell  increased life insurance policies on themselves without consulting their husbands.

She explained that the insurance company came to the school where they both worked as teachers one day to speak about increasing life insurance.

“It was really cheap insurance and they encouraged us to purchase some so both my mother and I purchased some,” she said.

“We both signed to take out more life insurance on ourselves and did not consult with our husbands,” she added.

Emma said her mother took out the maximum, but she did not because she could not afford it.

Chad Daybell was ‘distressed’ when asked about family’s wishes on autopsy

Monday 20 May 2024 16:54 , Andrea Cavallier

Emma told the court that her father was very distressed during the ordeal. She said she told the coroner she did not want an autopsy and that her dad nodded.

When Prior asked if Daybell expressed whether or not he wanted an autopsy done, Emma said, “He never expressed an opinion,” adding that she he was more distressed than she had ever seen him “in my entire life.”

“I know the grief he felt was real.”

She testified that her father was truly grieving the loss of her mother even though he was having an affair with Lori Vallow at the time.

“He may not have had the same romantic relationship with my mother that he had in the past, but I knew he valued her as a person and seeing her die was very traumatic,” she said.

‘I don't think autopsies should be done on anyone’

Monday 20 May 2024 16:51 , Andrea Cavallier

Emma Murray testified about the day her mother died and the family’s wishes on an autopsy being done.

When she arrived at her parents’ house, “Coroner Dye was inspecting my mom’s body and she asked us some questions about our wishes,” she said.

“She offered an autopsy and the area where we lived in, the body would have to be taken to Boise which is about five hours away. It would delay the funeral,” she added.

“I don’t think autopsies should be done on anyone. The idea of my mother’s body undergoing that was very distressing to me.”

Daughter talks about father’s priesthood and ability to give blessings

Monday 20 May 2024 16:33 , Andrea Cavallier

Emma Murray testified that it’s common for people in her faith to give blessings as long as they are eligible and have the priesthood.

Any man who is an adult and makes promises to keep teachings of the church with the power to serve other people can receive the priesthood - it wasn’t unique to her father, she said.

She said after her father gave her the blessing when she was struggling, “I instantly felt better. I felt the individual that was trying to affect my body was gone.”

When Prior asks if after the spirit was cast out, she died. Emma says no, and adds: “The goal is so you have your own body back and can be in control of yourself.”

When Prior asks if she has ever heard the word zombies, Emma says just on TV and in movies.

Emma Murray says father was the creative one behind the book business – and her mother was on the business side

Monday 20 May 2024 16:23 , Andrea Cavallier

Attorney John Prior asked Emma about her parents’ roles in their book publishing company.

Daybell was the creative one behind the company and he would try and find authors to have their books published.

Her mother, on the other hand, did the finances and taxes for the company.

‘I was trying to be an amateur meteorologist’

Monday 20 May 2024 16:20 , Andrea Cavallier

Chad Daybell’s daughter Emma Murray said she was the one who googled wind conditions the day before Tylee died because they were planning an outdoor event.

“I was trying to be an amateur meteorologist,” she said, adding there wasn’t a login or anything and that she just jumped online.

Daughter says Tammy Daybell was an introvert

Monday 20 May 2024 16:01 , Andrea Cavallier

Emma testifies that Tammy was a bit of an introvert and that she didn’t really talk about health with her coworkers.

Tammy Daybell ‘bruised easily’ and took colloidal silver, daughter says

Monday 20 May 2024 15:55 , Andrea Cavallier

The Daybell’s daughter Emma testifies that Tammy had anemia. She said she has sleep apnea and her grandfather does too so she wonders if Tammy as well.

She preferred herbal supplements and took the generic form of Prozac. She also bruised easily, like if she bumped her hip/

Emma says her mom took colloidal silver and Tammy would encourage others who were sick to take it.

Emma Murray testifies about mother Tammy Daybell’s health issues

Monday 20 May 2024 15:51 , Andrea Cavallier

Emma Murray, who is married to Joseph Murray, told the court she lives in her parents’ old house after making a financial arrangement with her father.

Emma says her mother’s health started declining within the last year of her life.

“She was always one to meet the demands of daily life without being exhausted and she started going to bed before dinner some nights. It would be like 5-6-7 o’clock at night and she would sleep in a lot,” she said.

Chad Daybell’s daughter Emma Murray is first witness for defence

Monday 20 May 2024 15:46 , Andrea Cavallier

Chad Daybell’s adult daughter Emma Murray is the first witness for the defence on Monday.

She exchanged smiles with Daybell as she took the stand.

WATCH: Chad Daybell’s trial continues with defence

Monday 20 May 2024 15:25 , Andrea Cavallier

A livestream of Chad Daybell’s trial is available for viewing on Judge Steven Boyce’s YouTube channel.

Court is expected to start at 10:30 ET/ 8:30 MT

Jury hears Lori Vallow’s name for his penis

Monday 20 May 2024 15:00 , Andrea Cavallier

The messages captured the two discussing romantic liasons after they met at a 2018 religious conference, and even appeared to reveal a nickname the couple had for Daybell’s penis, according to testimony from FBI tactical specialist Nicole Heideman.

One message described how “Elena,” a fictional name the pair used for Vallow when discussing their relationship, “gripped the storm and they stare into each other’s eyes as intense waves wash over them,” according to the FBI agent.

The agent added that “the storm” appeared to be a nickname for Mr Daybell’s anatomy, reportedly drawing a smile from the 55-year-old at the defence table.

Defence in Chad Daybell case begins today

Monday 20 May 2024 14:27 , Andrea Cavallier

The defence in Chad Daybell’s case will begin calling witnesses today.

Among them will be experts and some of Daybell’s own children.

Last year, the defence for Daybell’s wife Lori Vallow called no witnesses and offered no defence.

Defence will begin on Monday – no court today

Friday 17 May 2024 15:50 , Andrea Cavallier

There is no court today for Chad Daybell.

The trial will resume on Monday morning with the defence.

ICYMI: Judge denies motion to acquit ‘cult prophet’ Chad Daybell on all charges

Friday 17 May 2024 14:00 , Mike Bedigan

Judge denies motion to acquit ‘cult prophet’ Chad Daybell on all charges

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

Friday 17 May 2024 13:30 , Mike Bedigan

As the prosecution begins to wrap up its case, many are wondering who will take the stand in Chad Daybell’s defence.

In stark contrast to Vallow’s trial in which no experts were called and no witnesses testified on her behalf, the defence will call four experts and three or four of Daybell’s five adult children.

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

“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.”

After six weeks, the state will call its last witness on Thursday.

Read more:

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

Watch: Chad Daybell gets emotional as 911 call is played at his murder trial

Friday 17 May 2024 13:00 , Mike Bedigan

Recap: FBI Special Agent Douglas Hart previously testified at Lori Vallow’s trial

Friday 17 May 2024 12:00 , Mike Bedigan

Agent Hart, who is on the stand now at Chad Daybell’s trial, testified last year at Lori Vallow’s trial.

He testified that the doomsday couple exchanged thousands of text messages, voicemails and photos including messages “relevant to” the deaths of her children and their spouses and referring to them as “obstacles”.

In chilling messages, Vallow complained about being “tired of taking care of demons” while referring to her children.

“We r both so tired of taking care of demons,” she wrote in a text to Daybell in Augsut 2019 – one month before Tylee and JJ were murdered. “We are weary. Please ask the Lord to take them.”

The couple also spoke about inflicting pain on children and giving them “a reason to scream”.

In one exchange, Daybell asked if she wanted him to “cause pain” to the “two three’s” she was travelling with.

She replied to him telling him to hold off, but added that if they started to act up again “we can zap them”.

Daybell agreed and responded: “Sounds great. Yes, If they are going to act up, well at least give them a reason to scream.”

Read more from that testimony:

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

What are the charges against Chad Daybell?

Friday 17 May 2024 11:00 , Mike Bedigan

Chad Daybell was arrested on 9 June 2020 and booked into the Fremont County Jail after the remains of Lori Vallow’s children were found in his Rexburg, Idaho backyard.

He had left the house during the search as Rexburg Police, Fremont County Sheriff deputies and the FBI swarmed the property and began a dig that lasted for hours. But he was arrested a short time later.

Daybell has shown little to no emotion at his court appearances over the past four years.

On 21 March, he was transferred from Fremont County Jail to the Ada County Jail in Boise in preparation for his trial.

Daybell is charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder in the deaths of the two children and the death of his former wife Tammy. He’s also charged with insurance fraud.

Prosecutors say that the couple conspired with Vallow’s brother Alex Cox to kill the children and Daybell’s wife both as part of their doomsday beliefs – but also to collect life insurance money, the kids’ social security and survivor benefits.

Kids Killed Doomsday Plot (Post Register)
Kids Killed Doomsday Plot (Post Register)

ICYMI: Jury hears intimate texts between Chad and Lori

Friday 17 May 2024 09:35 , Mike Bedigan

The murder trial of Chad Daybell took an intimate turn on Monday, as jurors listened to text messages exchanged with his wife Lori Daybell -- and the name they had for his penis.

Read the full story:

Chad Daybell trial: Graphic testimony as jury hears Lori Vallow’s name for his penis

Retired FBI agent Doug Hart is state’s last witness

Friday 17 May 2024 08:05 , Mike Bedigan

On Thursday the prosecution called retired FBI agent Doug Hart to the stand as its final witness in the case.

Agent Hart testified about a text on July 29, 2019 between Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow.

Chad to Lori, “One question: Do you want me to cause pain yet to those two 3s you’re riding with?”

Lori to Chad: “Probably hold off on them till we arrive. They will be a miserable to deal with. But I’ll text you if they start acting up and we can zap them.”

Chad to Lori: “Sounds great. Yes, if they are going to act up, we’ll at least give them a reason to scream. I love, cherish, treasure and adore you.”

Its is uncertain whether the defence will begin their case on Friday, or wait until next week.

Who was Tammy Daybell?

Friday 17 May 2024 06:30 , Mike Bedigan

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

Watch: JJ Vallow’s grandfather cries outside court after error found in arrest indictment

Friday 17 May 2024 05:00 , Mike Bedigan

Jury hears Lori Vallow’s name for Chad Daybell’s penis

Friday 17 May 2024 04:00 , Mike Bedigan

Text messages between Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow appeared to reveal a nickname the couple had for Daybell’s penis, according to testimony from FBI tactical specialist Nicole Heideman.

One message described how “Elena,” a fictional name the pair used for Vallow when discussing their relationship, “gripped the storm and they stare into each other’s eyes as intense waves wash over them,” according to the FBI agent.

The agent added that “the storm” appeared to be a nickname for Daybell’s anatomy, reportedly drawing a smile from the 55-year-old murder suspect at the defence table.

Josh Marcus reports:

Chad Daybell trial: Graphic testimony as jury hears Lori Vallow’s name for his penis

In pictures: The Chad Daybell trial

Friday 17 May 2024 03:37 , Mike Bedigan

 (Post Register)
(Post Register)
 (AP)
(AP)
 (Judge Steven Boyce YouTube channel)
(Judge Steven Boyce YouTube channel)

WATCH: Bizarre phone call revealed in Chad Daybell trial

Friday 17 May 2024 03:00 , Mike Bedigan

ICYMI: Judge finds error in Daybell indictment

Friday 17 May 2024 02:00 , Mike Bedigan

Earlier on Thursday, Judge Steven Boyce pointed out “an issue with the indictment” after the state rested.

The indictment, which was amended on 20 February 2024, listed JJ Vallow’s death as being between September 8-9, 2019.

Judge Boyce pointed out that JJ was “clearly alive on those days.”

JJ was last seen alive on 22 September, based on evidence. And it’s believed Tylee was killed between September 8-9, 2019.

An indictment filed on 25 May 2021 lists the dates as the 22nd and 23rd of September of 2019.

Attorney Lindsey Blake said they were unaware of the error and asked for time, until Monday, to review it.

Daybell’s attorney argued that the prosecution had plenty of time and had already rested its case.

Judge Boyce dismissed the court, giving the attorneys two hours to prepare arguments on the matter. Court will resume at 4:30pm ET/2:30pm MT.

The error was spotted when Prior, asked for a “directed verdict” on the murder charges of Tylee Ryan and JJ Vallow, arguing that there was not enough evidence to show that Daybell was involved in their deaths.

The judge found insufficient evidence to make a ruling on that motion.

Judge denies motion to acquit Chad Daybell on all charges

Thursday 16 May 2024 22:55 , Andrea Cavallier

An Idaho judge overseeing Chad Daybell’s triple murder trial has denied motion to acquit the “doomsday” author on all charges, including the charge in JJ Vallow’s death.

The ruling comes after Daybell’s trial was thrown into chaos on Thursday when Judge Steven Boyce pointed out a “clerical error” the prosecutors made in an amended indictment.

The state will be allowed to make the changes.

Court in recess

Thursday 16 May 2024 22:08 , Andrea Cavallier

Judge Boyce told the court he needs to take a recess before he rules on the motion.

But noted he understood that this should be dealt with as soon as possible.

Boyce said the court will be alerted when he’s ready to rule.

Defence asks judge to dismiss the murder charge for JJ Vallow

Thursday 16 May 2024 22:03 , Andrea Cavallier

Chad Daybell’s defence attorney John Prior argued the state does not have any right to ask for an amendment at this point in the trial.

He cited a rule that says the court can allow an amendment before the state rests – but not after.

“They have to make any amendment and correction prior to resting their case,” he said.

He pointed out that four attorneys on the prosecution had over a year to review this.

Judge hears state’s argument for acquittal

Thursday 16 May 2024 21:59 , Andrea Cavallier

On all counts, excluding count four, Judge Boyce ruled that the state presented significant evidence so Mr Prior’s motion for acquittal is denied.

Now Ingrid Batey is arguing for the state why the indictment should be amended to keep the murder charges for JJ Vallow.

Court resumes to discuss indictment error

Thursday 16 May 2024 21:35 , Andrea Cavallier

Judge Boyce says he has prepared a ruling on all counts except count four -- which is the first degree murder for JJ Vallow.

State rests in Chad Daybell case

Thursday 16 May 2024 18:38 , Andrea Cavallier

The prosecution rested their case against Chad Daybell on 16 May, six weeks after the trial began.

The defence, which solely rests on attorney John Prior, could begin arguing their side as soon as tomorrow.

‘We’ll give them a reason to scream’

Thursday 16 May 2024 16:46 , Andrea Cavallier

Agent Hart testified about a text on July 29, 2019 between Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow.

Chad to Lori, “One question: Do you want me to cause pain yet to those two 3s you’re riding with?”

Lori to Chad: “Probably hold off on them till we arrive. They will be a miserable to deal with. But I’ll text you if they start acting up and we can zap them.”

Chad to Lori: “Sounds great. Yes, if they are going to act up, we’ll at least give them a reason to scream. I love, cherish, treasure and adore you.”

Four former jurors from Lori Vallow’s trial are in courtroom today

Thursday 16 May 2024 16:11 , Andrea Cavallier

Four former jurors who convicted Lori Vallow a year ago are back in the same Ada County courtroom today for Chad Daybell’s trial.

East Idaho News’ Nate Eaton, who is reporting from the courtroom, says there are about 30-40 people in the gallery.

Larry Woodcock, the grandfather of slain JJ Vallow, is also in the courtroom.

Prosecution is expected to rest today.

Chad Daybell in back in courtroom as state prepares to rest case

Thursday 16 May 2024 15:30 , Andrea Cavallier

The “doomsday” author is at the defence table this morning as his triple murder trial resumes in Boise, Idaho.

The state has one more witness today before it rests its case against Chad Daybell.

Court is expected to start shortly.

Prosecution to rest today as Chad Daybell’s defense prepares to fight back

Thursday 16 May 2024 14:00 , Andrea Cavallier

Prosecutors have one last witness for the court as they prepare to rest their case against Chad Daybell.

After the witness is questioned by both parties, the state will likely rest its case and court will adjourn early for the day.

Judge Steven Boyce told the court there will be discussion today about the trial schedule going forward.

Court is set to resume today at 10:30am ET/8:30am MT. It will be livestreamed on Judge Boyce’s YouTube page.

Recap: Listen to Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow giggle on the phone day before kids’ bodies are found

Thursday 16 May 2024 11:00 , Mike Bedigan

RECAP: Jury hears gruesome testimony about Tylee Ryan’s remains

Thursday 16 May 2024 03:00 , Andrea Cavallier

Jury hears gruesome testimony about tools used to chop and shatter Tylee Ryan’s remains

On Monday, jurors listened to gruesome testimony and viewed graphic photos as Douglas Halepaska, FBI Toolmark Analyst, described tools used to chop and shattered Tylee Ryan’s remains.

The 16-year-old’s remains were found buried and burned on Chad Daybell’s property.

Her hip bone and spine were shattered.

“The force you can kind of see at the top left, you can see that the bone has actually shattered in separate places and fractured,” the analyst said.

“Based on my training experience, it appears that the tool that was used actually cut through the bone and into that soft tissue and may have actually carried into it.”

Mr Halepaska testified that many of Tylee’s injuries came from tools like a machete, a hatchet, a cleaver and a pick.

A pickaxe and shovel were among the numerous tools found on Daybell’s property that tested positive for human remains.

The defence argued that the tools analyst could not specifically identify the tools that were used on Tylee.

Court ends early as state begins to wrap up case

Wednesday 15 May 2024 22:18 , Andrea Cavallier

Court ended early on Wednesday after testimony from Investigator Edwards.

Judge Steven Boyce informed the court that the state has one more witness – who will take the stand on Thursday.

It is not yet known when the defence will begin presenting their side of the case.

A proposed schedule for the rest of the trial will be discussed tomorrow.

Daybell and Vallow talked about ‘blueprint’ for ‘project’ one day before children’s bodies were found

Wednesday 15 May 2024 22:00 , Andrea Cavallier

Rexburg police detective Ray Hermosillo was back on the stand on Wednesday where he testified about the jail phone calls recorded after Vallow’s arrest in February 2020.

“Through our investigation, interviews with multiple witnesses that were close to (Chad Daybell), through the teachings in his books,” Det Hermosillo said, “he would often talk about how he had the ability to see and speak with people on the other side of the veil,” referring to heaven.

Daybell told Vallow in the call that he texted “Ray,” a known alias of Vallow’s brother, a detective testified. The call happened in June 2020, a day before the bodies of the children were found on Daybell’s property.

At this point, Cox had been dead for six months. He died in December 2019 of what police determined were natural causes.

The couple talked about a “project,” and Vallow asked if “the blueprints are still intact? The timing?”

“Can he just make us any guarantees?” Vallow asked. “I mean, we did make our down payments. ... I would like a guarantee, just an end date of our project.”

She told Daybell to remind Cox “that at the beginning of this project he said there’s only a 3% chance there would be trouble.”

She questioned the "complications" that had occurred in the "project" and said there were "other things on the project, when I’m going back over it, that I could have easily done or been inspired to do, to avoid a lot of the issues that would have come up with that, that we were not made aware of.”

Daybell reassured her and said “overall this was part of the blueprint” and that “(Cox) is in that contractor position for a reason.”

Chad Daybell walks into courtroom with ankle monitor after lunch break

Wednesday 15 May 2024 20:16 , Andrea Cavallier

Court is back in session after a lunch break.

Chad Daybell appears to be wearing an ankle monitor as he walked back into the courtroom, East Idaho News’ Nate Eaton noted.

Prosecuting attorney Lindsey Blake will continue questioning Attorney General Lead Investigator Nicholas Edwards.

WATCH: Jail phone reveals Daybell and Vallow discussion of ‘blueprint’ before discovery children’s bodies

Wednesday 15 May 2024 20:00 , Andrea Cavallier

Lori Vallow asks Chad Daybell for reassurances day before children’s bodies found

Wednesday 15 May 2024 19:30 , Andrea Cavallier

Det Hermosillo testified that in multiple calls, Vallow asked Daybell for reassurances.

In the never before heard jail phone call, Vallow asks her husband for reassurance the day before the bodies of her children were found dead in Daybell’s backyard.

He tells Lori her value is tremendous and needed in every way.

“I know that is a fact. You are needed, my love. I think you underestimate yourself. I’m not trying to give you a big head or ego because you don’t have one.

You just are spectacular and the Lord is going to use those talents. You’re on earth at this time for that purpose.”

Wednesday 15 May 2024 19:06 , Andrea Cavallier

Chad Daybell’s trial is now on break for lunch.

Court will resume at 3pm ET/2pm MT

Jail call reveals Daybell told Lori Vallow he texted her dead brother

Wednesday 15 May 2024 18:56 , Andrea Cavallier

A jail phone call played in court on Wednesday revealed that Daybell told his wife Lori Vallow that he texted her dead brother, Alex Cox.

“I texted Ray,” he is heard on the recording. Det Hermosillo says Cox often went by Ray LeMar. He had a gmail account raylemar@gmail.com.

“He was very optimistic,” Daybell tells her and the two giggle multiple times.

“He’s said it will work out. He didn’t want me to say he misses you but he’s not far from contact. We can text him whenever we want.”

Daybell says he asked Ray about the “video project.” Vallow’s sister Summer Shiflet posted a video online about Alex Cox after he died.

Daybell and Vallow talk about completing the project on time and if they get a bonus.

Daybell tells her: “he’s still very interested and hasn’t forgotten about us. He’s involved in this latest batch.”

FBI agent Rick Wright is back on the stand

Wednesday 15 May 2024 16:15 , Andrea Cavallier

Investigator Rick Wright is back on the stand.

He analyzed cell phone data and GEO locations for phones linked to Alex Cox from September to November 2019.

Day 24 of Chad Daybell’s trial begins

Wednesday 15 May 2024 16:09 , Andrea Cavallier

Chad Daybell is back in an Ada County courtroom in Boise, Idaho on Wednesday for the 24th day of his triple murder trial.

Livestream the proceedings on Judge Steven Boyce’s YouTube page.

FBI investigator testifiesabout phone locations near children’s buried bodies

Wednesday 15 May 2024 15:00 , Andrea Cavallier

What happend at Lori Vallow’s trial?

Wednesday 15 May 2024 14:30 , Andrea Cavallier

A year before Chad Daybell’s began, his wife Lori Vallow was at the centre of this bizarre case involving cults and multiple deaths with her own trial at the same Ada County courthouse in Boise, Idaho.

She is currently in jail in Arizona where she faces charges of conspiracy to commit murder in the 2019 death of her fourth husband Charles Vallow, and in the 2019 attempted murder of her former nephew-in-law, Brandon Boudreaux.

Rachel Sharp explains the most crucial moments from her high-profile trial, which ended with Vallow’s conviction for the murder of her two youngest children.

Read more:

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

Click here to read the full blog on The Independent's website