Lori Vallow Daybell’s defense argues for ‘fair trial’ as so-called ‘cult mom’ smiles in court

NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!

Lori Vallow Daybell’s defense team on Tuesday said they “just want a fair trial” while making the case to split two conspiracy charges against Vallow in an Idaho district courtroom.

The so-called “cult mom,” who is accused of killing her children in 2019 and collecting social security benefits in her son’s name after their deaths, smiled in and outside the Fremont County courtroom as her counsel argued to split up her conspiracy to commit murder and conspiracy to commit theft charges.

“I have issue with the state saying, ‘Hey, we can lump all these things into one conspiracy charge,’ and as long as they find one of these conspiracies, then the conspiracy is met,” attorney John Thomas said during Tuesday’s hearing. “… It just jumbles it up. It doesn’t make a lot of sense that way.”

ALLEGED ‘CULT MOM’ LORI VALLOW MENTALLY COMPETENT TO STAND TRIAL, IDAHO JUDGE SAYS

Thomas added that he does not “think it’s fair for the jury to have to” determine whether Vallow Daybell, 49, is guilty or not guilty of both conspiracy to commit murder and conspiracy to commit theft in the same case and that the two charges should be completely separated.

Lori Vallow-Daybell, who is accused of killing her children in 2019 and collecting social security benefits in her son's name after their deaths, smiled in and outside a Fremont County courtroom Tuesday as her counsel argued to split up her conspiracy to commit murder and conspiracy to commit theft charges.

Lori Vallow-Daybell, who is accused of killing her children in 2019 and collecting social security benefits in her son’s name after their deaths, smiled in and outside a Fremont County courtroom Tuesday as her counsel argued to split up her conspiracy to commit murder and conspiracy to commit theft charges. (handout)

The attorney argued that Vallow Daybell’s children, 7-year-old Joshua “J.J.” Vallow, and 17-year-old Tylee Ryan, were killed in September 2019 while the alleged grand theft involving the collection of social security benefits with their information occurred between October 1, 2019, and Jan. 22, 2020.

LORI VALLOW MURDER CASE PROCEEDINGS SUSPENDED AS COURT SAYS SHE ‘LACKS FITNESS TO PROCEED’

Vallow Daybell and her husband, Chad Daybell, were indicted late May 2021 on multiple counts each of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and grand theft by deception, first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder related to the deaths of Tylee, J.J., and Chad Daybell’s ex-wife, 49-year-old Tammy Daybell, officials announced at the time.

The pair is at the center of a tangled case that involves a bizarre apocalyptic religious belief that prosecutors claim the couple designed to justify the murders.

LORI VALLOW, CHAD DAYBELL ‘DOOMSDAY’ MURDERS: A TIMELINE OF EVENTS

The children were missing for several months — when police say the couple lied about the children’s whereabouts and then slipped away to Hawaii — before their bodies were found buried on Chad Daybell’s property in rural Idaho.

“A person’s life is on the line,” Thomas said Tuesday regarding a potential life sentence for Vallow Daybell. “The conspiracy to commit murder and grand theft are two separate conspiracies.”

The state is seeking the death penalty in Lori Vallow Daybell's case due to the "aggravating circumstances" leading to her alleged crimes. 

The state is seeking the death penalty in Lori Vallow Daybell’s case due to the “aggravating circumstances” leading to her alleged crimes.  (handout)

The state is seeking the death penalty in Vallow Daybell’s case due to the “aggravating circumstances” leading to her alleged crimes. Vallow Daybell’s counsel is asking for a probable cause hearing to discuss the alleged “aggravating circumstances,” as well as the conspiracy charges.

Meanwhile, the prosecution disagreed that the two conspiracy charges are confusing to the jury and unfair, adding that multiple cases have held that conspiracy is one crime that can contain multiple different facets.

“I don’t believe this is fundamentally unfair. I think these are charges based on the evidence provided to the grand jury. They didn’t have a problem with it. They found it,” attorney Robb Wood said.

Lori and Chad Daybell are accused of killing 17-year-old Tylee Ryan and 7-year-old J.J. Vallow in 2019.

Lori and Chad Daybell are accused of killing 17-year-old Tylee Ryan and 7-year-old J.J. Vallow in 2019. (Rexberg Police Department)

Wood argued that the conspiracies are combined: First, Vallow Daybell allegedly murdered Tylee and stole her social security number. She is also accused of killing her son and stealing the social security funds allotted to him.

“We believe they are linked and not completely separate,” Wood said. “We believe that the jury will find…they agreed to commit these two crimes.”

After Tuesday’s hearing, Vallow Daybell left the courtroom without handcuffs, shackles or any other kind of restraints. She was escorted out by her counsel rather than by court police.

Lori Vallow-Daybell left a Fremont County courtoom on Aug. 16 without handcuffs or shackles. 

Lori Vallow-Daybell left a Fremont County courtoom on Aug. 16 without handcuffs or shackles.  (handout)

Judge Steven Boyce will release a written decision regarding Vallow Daybell’s defense team’s efforts to get a probable cause hearing later on Tuesday.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Vallow Daybell reportedly believed she was “a god assigned to carry out the work of the 144,000 at Christ’s second coming in July 2020,” according to divorce documents Charles Vallow filed before his death. 

Chad Daybell has written several apocalyptic novels based loosely on Mormon theology. Both were involved in a group that promotes preparedness for the biblical end-times.

Fox News’ Stephanie Pagones and The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Source

Related posts