Judge rejects request of Chad Daybell Lori Vallow’s husband to remove death penalty

CBS News-5, Arizona/December 20, 2023

By David Baker

St. Anthony — A judge on Tuesday refused to take the death penalty off the table for Chad Daybell, Lori Vallow’s husband, in his murder case in connection to the deaths of Vallow’s two children and his first wife.

Idaho District Judge Steven W. Boyce dismissed both objections from Daybell’s lawyers over the death penalty. Daybell’s defense claimed that Vallow was more culpable in the murders of her children, 16-year-old Tylee Ryan and 7-year-old J.J. Vallow. Lori Vallow was found guilty in May and sentenced to life in prison without parole. He rejected the culpability narrative, saying the court can’t speculate on what evidence Daybell will present to show he’s less culpable, adding it would “make a premature determination about what the facts of Daybell’s case— not Vallow’s case— are.”

Boyce also points to the fact that Chad Daybell’s case has additional charges. He was also indicted on two counts of insurance fraud in connection to Tammy Daybell’s life insurance policies. The judge also brings up that Chad Daybell is charged with first-degree murder for the death of Tammy Daybell, a crime punishable by death that Lori Vallow wasn’t charged with.

A few weeks before the trial, Boyce removed the death penalty as a possible punishment. But in Chad Daybell’s case, Boyce said it should be up to the jury to decide if capital punishment is appropriate.

Daybell’s trial is scheduled to start on April 1, 2024.

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