Lori Vallow Daybell says she has an alibi after being accused of killing children

Lawyers for Lori Vallow Daybell made the allegation in court filings filed in east Idaho last week in the triple murder case. She is also asking permission to meet with her husband, who is also accused, to discuss strategy before the case goes to court in April.

(Tony Blakeslee | Pool) Lori Vallow Daybell, center, listens during a court hearing in St. Anthony, Idaho, Tuesday, April 19, 2022. Daybell, charged in Idaho with killing her two youngest children and her new husband’s former wife, will face trial with her husband and her trial has been postponed until early next year.

BOISE, Idaho (AP) • A woman accused of conspiring to murder her two children and her new husband’s late wife says she has an alibi and the children were killed while they were at her late brother’s home.

Lawyers for Lori Vallow Daybell made the allegation in court filings filed in east Idaho last week in the triple murder case. She is also asking for permission to have “strategy meetings” with her husband, who is also accused, before the case goes to court in April.

The bizarre and complex case, which includes allegations of doomsday-related religious beliefs, allegations of conspiracy to steal Social Security funds and the mysterious deaths of the couple’s former spouses, has been riddled with twists and turns since Vallow Daybell and her new husband were arrested two years ago. But the “Notice of Alibi” filed with the Idaho 7th Circuit Court provided the first glimpse of Vallow Daybell’s proposed defense.

Lori Vallow Daybell and her husband Chad Daybell have pleaded not guilty to murder, conspiracy and grand larceny in connection with the deaths of 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow and Tylee Ryan, who was last seen days before she was 17 , birthday in September 2019. They are also being charged in connection with the October 2019 death of Chad Daybell’s late wife, Tammy Daybell. If convicted, they face the death penalty.

In the alibi statement, Vallow Daybell’s attorneys said she was at her own home in Rexburg when Tylee and JJ died at a nearby home where her brother, Alex Cox, lived. The attorneys said she was dating a couple of friends, “and/or Chad Daybell.” Her attorneys have also argued that she was in Hawaii with other friends when Chad Daybell’s former wife died the next month.

Lawyers for Chad Daybell have not offered any details about his proposed defense, other than saying in court last November that Daybell and Vallow Daybell will have “mutually antagonistic defenses” — a legal term that generally means that a jury will choose one Defendants in turn would not believe would have to believe the other.

Idaho law enforcement began investigating the couple in November 2019 after extended family members reported the children were missing. During that time, police said the couple lied about the children’s whereabouts. Their bodies were later found buried on Chad Daybell’s property in rural Idaho.

Chad and Lori Daybell wed just two weeks after his former wife, Tammy Daybell, unexpectedly passed away. Tammy Daybell’s death was originally reported as a natural death, but investigators had her body exhumed after becoming suspicious when Chad Daybell quickly remarried.

Vallow Daybell is also separately charged with conspiracy to commit murder in Arizona in connection with the July 2019 death of her former husband Charles Vallow. He was shot by Vallow Daybell’s brother, Alex Cox, who claimed it was in self-defense.

The Arizona court case is staying while the Idaho case is pending.

Court documents suggest things started to unravel for the family in early 2019, when Lori was still married to Charles Vallow. The couple were estranged and Vallow had filed for divorce, saying he feared she would kill him and that she had developed cult-like beliefs. He said she claimed to be “a god commissioned to do the work of the 144,000 at Christ’s second coming in July 2020.”

The family was living in suburban Phoenix in July 2019 when Lori’s brother Alex shot Cox Vallow. He claimed the shooting was in self-defense after Vallow attacked him with a baseball bat. Police were investigating, but the case didn’t go far before Cox died later that year from a blood clot in his lungs.

Lori Vallow moved to Idaho with the children after the death of her late husband, got an apartment in the small town of Rexburg, and spent time with Chad Daybell. The couple had known each other for a while and sometimes participated in podcasts about preparing for the biblical end times for an online organization aimed at members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Alex Cox also moved to Rexburg for a while that fall before returning to Arizona, where he died.

Meanwhile, JJ’s Louisiana grandparents, Larry and Kay Woodcock, became concerned about the children, who couldn’t reach them on the phone. They said Lori Daybell wouldn’t tell them why the boy was always unavailable and they asked the police to check on the family.

Friends of the couple later told law enforcement investigators that the couple believed people could be taken over by dark spirits and that Vallow Daybell referred to their children as “zombies,” a term they used to describe those who were possessed.

Prosecutors say the couple encouraged the unusual convictions to advance their alleged conspiracy to kill family members and steal their money, including the children’s Social Security benefits.

Vallow Daybell was arrested in Hawaii in February 2020, and Daybell was arrested in June of the same year. Since then, the two have spoken on the phone only once, wrote Vallow Daybell’s attorneys, Jim Archibald and John Thomas.

“With the settlement proposals, mediation, motions and court proceedings rapidly approaching, Lori and Chad would like to be able to discuss their options in person and over the phone,” the attorneys wrote. If approved, the conversations will not be recorded and will not be used as evidence, but lawyers will be present. They would only be considered for comparison purposes, the lawyers wrote.

Chad Daybell’s attorney filed a motion of his own, asking the judge to postpone the trial a year to April 2024. John Prior said he needed more time to prepare for the complex trial and go through all the evidence – some of which he still has awaiting surrender by prosecutors.

Judge Steven Boyce of the 7th Circuit will consider the motions at a hearing scheduled for Jan. 19.

https://www.sltrib.com/news/nation-world/2023/01/10/lori-vallow-daybell-says-she-has/ Lori Vallow Daybell says she has an alibi after being accused of killing children

Justin Scacco

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