Science

Lori Vallow Daybell’s triple murder case halted to determine if she is mentally fit to stand trial

An Idaho judge has postponed the trial of a woman who has been charged with Conspiracy to murder her two youngest children and the wife of her fifth husband until the authorities can determine whether she is of sound mind.

Seventh District Judge Steven Boyce delivered the ruling on Thursday, days after Lori Vallow Daybell’s defense attorneys asked that the case be put on hold. The documents detailing the request were sealed and a short hearing on the matter was closed to the public.

The hearing was scheduled for next January.

Vallow Daybell and her husband, Chad Daybell, both have pleaded not guilty to the allegations. The peculiar details of the case have attracted worldwide attention.

Idaho law enforcement officials began investigating the couple in November 2019, after extended family members reported the disappearance of their two youngest children, Joshua “JJ” Vallow and Tylee Ryan. At the time, JJ Vallow was 7 years old and Tylee Ryan was nearing her 17th birthday.

Daybell and Vallow Daybell married just two weeks after the unexpected death of his previous wife, Tammy Daybell. The children’s bodies were later found buried on their property in rural eastern Idaho.

The couple were eventually charged with murder, conspiracy and grand theft in connection with the deaths of the children and Daybell’s wife. He pleaded not guilty and could face the death penalty If convicted.

APTOPIX Missing child-mother arrested
Lori Vallow appears in court on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 in Lihu, Hawaii.

Dennis Fujimotod Garden Island AP, Via Pool


Prosecutors say the couple promoted unusual religious beliefs to advance the alleged murder plot. Vallow Daybell’s ex-husband, Charles Vallow, died while the two had separated, but divorce documents state that Vallow Daybell believed him to usher in the time of the end of the apocalypse. Responsible was a god-like figure. Daybell wrote fiction books focused on doom and recorded podcasts about preparing for the apocalypse.

Friends of the couple told law enforcement investigators that the pair believed people could be taken in by dark spirits, and Vallow Daybell referred to their children as “zombies”, a term that which they used to describe the people they had.

Vallow Daybell has also been charged with conspiracy to commit murder in Arizona in connection with Vallow’s death. Her previous husband was shot and killed by Vallow Daybell’s brother, Alex Cox, who said it was self-defense. Cox later died of what police said were natural causes.

Arizona legal proceedings are ongoing while the Idaho case is ongoing, and Vallow Daybell is not scheduled to make a plea deal in the Arizona case.

This is the second time the Idaho case against Vallow Daybell has been put on hold. The criminal case was put on hold in 2021 after she was declared incapacitated to prosecute and committed to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare for treatment. she was declared capable 10 months later.

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