While murder defendant Lori Vallow-Daybell won’t waive her right to a speedy trial, she realizes delaying her trial by three months gives her attorneys greater latitude in preparing her case.
“If the court moves her trail from Oct. 11, 2022 to Jan. 9 2023, she understands that will give her defense team more time to get ready,” wrote Vallow-Daybell’s attorneys Jim Archibald and John Thomas in a Thursday court filing.
Archibald and Thomas submitted court documents following prosecutors’ May 2 filing asking to continue her case from October to the originally set January 2023, trial in Boise. Initially, Vallow-Daybell was to be tried with her fifth husband and co-defendant Chad Daybell.
“If both cases are not set for trial at the same time, it will result in an improper severance,” wrote prosecutors in the court filing.
During an April 19 hearing where she pleaded “not guilty,” Vallow-Daybell asserted her right to a “speedy trial.”
Vallow-Daybell faces the death penalty after being indicted in the murders of her children Tylee Ryan, 16, and J.J. Vallow, 7. She’s been in custody since February 20, 2020 after refusing to turn the children over to authorities.
Four months later, and on June 9, 2020, law enforcement found the children’s remains buried in Chad Daybell’s Salem property. He was arrested shortly after.
In May 2021, the Daybells were indicted in the murders of the two children. Chad Daybell was also charged in the murder of his first wife Tammy Daybell and was charged with insurance fraud after pocketing $430,000 in life insurance benefits following her death. He married Vallow-Daybell two weeks after Tammy Daybell died.
Chad Daybell has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Shortly after Vallow-Daybell was indicted, Seventh District Court Judge Steven Boyce ordered her to be sent to an Idaho mental health facility for treatment. Following her release from the facility last month, Vallow-Daybell was arraigned. The arraignment meant that public funds could be used to cover her legal fees. Vallow-Daybell has pleaded “not guilty” to the charges.
“She has met several times with her defense team, currently consisting of lead counsel, co-counsel, mitigation specialist and an investigator,” wrote Vallow-Daybell’s lawyers in their filing. “She understands that her defense team is spending a considerable amount of time going through the mountain of discovery in this case in order to get ready for trial.”
Attorneys associated with the case have frequently referred to that “mountain of discovery” as “voluminous.”
Archibald and Thomas, who are both death penalty qualified, wrote that Vallow-Daybell knows a possible conviction in her case carries with it the potential for capital punishment.
“She understands the heightened scrutiny in a potential death penalty case,” wrote the attorneys.
The men noted that Vallow-Daybell’s mental health is still of great concern and could cause her to again be admitted into a mental health facility.
“None of the experts employed by the court and the State of Idaho Department of Health and Welfare claim she is malingering or making up her mental illness,” wrote the attorneys. “She understands that she will undergo further mental health testing, as a neuropsychologist approved for the defense team will be meeting with her next month.”
Vallow-Daybell and her attorneys will meet before Boyce at 10 a.m., Thursday, at the Fremont County Courthouse. During the hearing, they will review a motion to “Find good cause to continue trial and prevent improper severance.”