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Chad Daybell Arraignment on Murder Charges


Idaho murder defendant Chad Daybell was scheduled for arraignment on Wednesday in the alleged murders of his wife Tamara “Tammy” Daybell, 49, and his new wife’s children, Joshua “JJ” Vallow, 7, and Tylee Ryan, 16. Court was scheduled for 10:30 a.m. MT / 12:30 p.m. ET. You can watch in the player above.

Daybell and the children’s mother Lori Daybell (identified as Lori Norene Vallow in court papers), 47, were indicted last month for charges including murder and conspiracy. They are both charged with killing the kids, and Chad Daybell is accused of personally killing his late wife. Lori’s brother Alex Cox is accused of all participating in the conspiracy. He attempted to shoot Tammy Daybell on October 9, 2019, prosecutors said. Cox died in December 2019 of what authorities called a blood clot.

Chad Daybell pleaded not guilty to these charges as well as counts of insurance fraud charges in collecting benefits on the death of his late wife. He was already fighting charges for allegedly hiding the bodies of the children on his property in Fremont County, Idaho, and allegedly conspiring with Lori to do so.

The new charges were part of a winding, convoluted story. JJ’s dad Charles Vallow told police in Arizona in early 2019 that Lori threatened to kill him. He would die months later. Cox killed him, claiming self-defense. Lori moved with the kids to Idaho just weeks later (and Arizona police now believe she conspired in the murder of Charles). JJ and Tylee went missing on separate dates in September, but Lori did not report this to authorities, police said. Tammy would die on or about October 18 to 19, 2019, authorities said. Chad and Lori would get married on Hawaii on November 5. Police would discover the disappearances of the children later that month, when JJ’s grandmother, who lived out of state, requested a welfare check.

Chad and Lori used their religious beliefs to justify killing the victims, prosecutors said. Court filings and reporting linked to the case alleged that Chad graded the quality of the souls of the people in their lives, and that Lori believed her children had become “zombies,” meaning they were possessed.

Lori Vallow’s case was recently put on hold, after the prosecution no longer disputed the psych evaluation deeming her unfit for trial.

Update – 1:54 p.m.: We updated the article to reflect the hearing has finished.

[Image via John Roark/the Post-Register/Pool]

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