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Preliminary hearing for Lori Daybell likely postponed, attorneys request new judge

Daybell Case

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Madison County Prosecutor Rob Wood addresses the court during Lori Vallow Daybell’s initial hearing on Friday, March 6, 2020. | John Roark, Pool Photo

REXBURG — The preliminary hearing for Lori Vallow Daybell will likely be postponed until early May and her attorneys are requesting that Judge Faren Eddins be disqualified from the case.

Daybell was scheduled to appear for the two-day hearing March 18 and 19 but court documents show Madison County Prosecuting Attorney Rob Wood and Daybell’s attorney, Mark Means, are requesting that proceedings be held May 7 and 8 at the Madison County Courthouse. Means also filed paperwork asking that Eddins no longer preside over the case. A reason was not listed.

Daybell remains in the Madison County Jail on $1 million bail. She is charged with two counts of felony child desertion and nonsupport of children, along with several misdemeanors.

During the preliminary hearing, Wood will need to prove there is enough evidence on the felony charges for the case to proceed from Magistrate Court to District Court.

Rexburg defense attorney Joshua Garner, who is not connected to the case, tells EastIdahoNews.com there could be a variety of reasons for the continuation of the hearing.

“The state might need additional time to gather and prepare witnesses, to gather evidence and there could potentially be charges from other jurisdictions that they might know about and they’re trying to consolidate them all together,” Garner says. “When it does happen, the state will put on a portion of their case to show probable cause. The defense is there to cross-examine and try to narrow down the issues and find additional information that has not been released.”

If the case does advance to District Court, Daybell will ultimately face a jury trial unless a plea agreement is worked out.

Paperwork regarding the continuance of the preliminary hearing and the motion to disqualify Eddins will likely be signed Thursday.

For updates on the case, visit our special Daybell section on EastIdahoNews.com here.

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