The triple murder trial of Lori Vallow Daybell, 49, mother of two deceased children and two deceased ex-husbands, linked to the “doomsday cult”, continues with a seventh day of testimony in Ada County, Idaho, Wednesday morning.
Vallow and her fifth and current husband, Chad Daybell, 54, are charged with murder in the 2019 deaths of 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow and 17-year-old Tylee Ashlyn Ryan. The children disappeared on different dates in September of the same year. Vallow was originally arrested in Hawaii in February 2020 for child abandonment. Daybell was arrested later that year after the children’s bodies were found buried on his property. The two defendants were charged with the murder of Vallow’s children and Daybell’s first wife, Tammy Daybell, 49, in May 2021. Originally prosecuted as husband and wife co-defendants, the couple’s cases have recently been separated and will be judged separately.
The second week of the trial is cut short due to the recent death of lead prosecutor Lindsey Blake’s father.
“There has been a death in the family of one of the prosecutor’s lead attorneys,” the prosecution said in a statement provided to Law&Crime after proceedings closed early Wednesday afternoon. “The Court and the defense have been kind enough to allow the prosecution to accommodate this personal situation.”
Jurors heard gripping testimony last week from Lori Vallow’s former best friend, Melanie Gibb, who detailed the defendant’s belief in ‘zombies’, ‘possession’ and other supernatural ideas that stray away from the core Mormon faith the two once shared.
After that, jurors heard testimony from Zulema Pastenes, the widow of Lori Vallow’s deceased brother, Alex Cox, who testified that Lori Vallow told her that Charles Vallow was “possessed by a dark spirit”.
The first week of testimony went fairly quickly because the defense didn’t cross-examine much.
More Law&Crime coverage: The 7 most damning pieces of evidence presented in the first week of ‘cult mom’ Lori Vallow’s murder trial
Tuesday’s testimony in the case looked nothing like a reprieve for Lori Vallow. Her only surviving son, Colby Ryan, spoke and discussed his faith and his family. He later sat there while prosecutors played up a jailhouse phone call between him and his mother in which he accuses her of murdering his siblings and calls her a liar.
Law&Crime correspondent Gigi McKelvey will provide updates as the case progresses on Wednesday and throughout the trial:
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