Idaho • With less than two weeks to go until the trial for Lori Vallow Daybell is expected to begin, a judge has ruled to take the death penalty off the table.
East Idaho News reporter Nate Eaton reported that prosecutors are “disappointed and respectfully disagree with [the] decision.”
On March 7, Vallow Daybell’s lawyers filed documents in an effort to remove the possibility of the death penalty.
In the motion, lawyers claim media saturation of the case is persistent, risking exposure to the juror pool.
Lawyers also claimed multiple discovery violations by the government in the case and said “the government wanting to kill a mentally ill person is a troubling thought.”
Lastly, lawyers claimed the state of Idaho, which is where the trial is being held, doesn’t have chemicals to kill people on death row.
On March 2, the judge ruled to separate the cases of Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow Daybell, “based on new DNA evidence that was made available to all parties in the case.”
Previously, the trials were joined on the grounds that witnesses and evidence would be the same in both cases.
Lori Vallow Daybell is expected to go to trial on April 3 but Chad Daybell’s trial was recently vacated and will be rescheduled at a later date.
Both defendants are charged with multiple counts of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder for their alleged involvement in the murders of two of Lori’s children, 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow and 16-year-old Tylee Ryan, as well as Chad’s first wife, Tammy Daybell. Both have pleaded not guilty to the charges.
This article is published through the Utah News Collaborative, a partnership of news organizations in Utah that aim to inform readers across the state.