The lead prosecutor in the criminal case against Lori Norene Vallow (aka Lori Norene Daybell), 47, and husband Chad Daybell, 52, is asking the judge to allow him to add another person to his team, describing her as a “veteran” of homicide cases. Court is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. MT / 5 p.m. ET. You can watch in the player above.
No homicide charges have been filed in the deaths of Vallow’s son Joshua “JJ” Vallow, 7, and daughter Tylee Ryan, 16. Right now, the defendant couple is only charged for an alleged plot to hide the bodies on Chad Daybell’s property in Fremont County. The victims were discovered in June 2020. Vallow is prosecuted over in Madison County for her alleged actions back after the kids went missing on different dates in September 2019. This included allegedly telling a friend to lie to investigators, and also snubbing a court order to produce the children.
It seems like there could have been a third defendant in the Fremont County case. Cell phone records of Vallow’s brother Alex Cox–who also killed her previous husband Charles Vallow in Arizona in July 2019, and claimed it was self-defense–put him near the kids’ gravesites shortly after their respective disappearances. Police bodycam from January of that year showed Charles Vallow telling cops his wife had threatened to kill him. Cox, however, died in Arizona in December 2019 of what medical examiners said was a blood clot.
The hearing on Monday concerns Missouri lawyer Rachel Smith. Madison County Prosecuting Attorney Rob Wood highlighted her history as a “veteran homicide prosecutor” in his letter to the Madison Count Idaho Board of Commissioners (h/t East Idaho News). He said she had prosecuted thousands of felony cases, including more than 100 homicide and death penalty cases.
Wood was giving the board the heads up on Smith joining the team on a contract basis, and his reasoning for bringing her onto the case and asking the court to give her permission to practice in Idaho for the Vallow prosecution. He said her experience could help support their relatively small office, and help prepare them for complex cases.
“There is also a long-term benefit to having Ms. Smith as part of our team for the next several months,” Wood wrote. “While we have an excellent staff of skilled prosecutors in the office and our community enjoys relatively low crime rates, the criminal litigation experience and teaching instruction Ms. Smith brings with her will help prepare our team for future complex situations if and when they arise.”
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