The defense for Idaho murder defendant Chad Daybell, 54, has wanted his case severed from co-defendant wife Lori Vallow, 49, and now says that they are putting forward a version of events different from hers.
“Our version of the facts of this case will differ greatly from what Ms. Vallow and her legal counsel are going to be presenting,” attorney John Prior said in a hearing on Thursday, according to East Idaho News. “Our defense is diametrically different than Ms. Vallow’s, and the cases need to be separated.”
Daybell and Vallow are charged in a winding murder conspiracy case, in which they are both accused of killing her children Joshua “JJ” Vallow, 7, and daughter Tylee Ryan, 16. Both kids disappeared on separate dates in September 2019 after joining their mother in Rexburg, Idaho. Daybell’s previous wife Tammy Daybell, 49, died the following October, and though authorities did not find her passing suspicious at the time, investigators now say that Chad murdered her. Alex Cox — an unindicated co-conspirator who died in December 2019 of what authorities called a blood clot — shot and killed Lori’s previous husband Charles Vallow in July 2019 while claiming self-defense, and though he will never face charges, Lori is charged with conspiracy down in Arizona. Cox is also accused of trying to kill Tammy several days before Chad carried out the act.
The Idaho murder cases have been in something of a holding pattern, as the judge paused Lori Vallow’s murder case over concerns for her mental competency to face charges.
Meanwhile, Prior continues in his attempt to distance his client from Vallow. Both defendants face the death penalty.
“There is a significant amount of information in this case, and the result could be the defendant is put to death,” Prior said Thursday. “Given the severity of consequences, the courts and federal courts have made it a habit to sever capital cases.”
Fremont County Prosecuting Attorney Lindsey Blake argue against severing the cases, in part arguing that they use separate juries for the defendants instead of resorting to separate trials.
“This is set to be a 10-week trial,” Blake said. “We are talking about a severance that would result in a total of 20-week trials between the two.”
[Daybell via John Roark/the Post-Register_Pool; Vallow via Madison County Sheriff’s Office]
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