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Chad Daybell enters not guilty plea

Daybell Case

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Chad Daybell and his attorney John Prior

SALEM — Chad Daybell plans to plead not guilty to two felony counts of concealment or destruction of evidence.

In court records filed Monday, Daybell’s defense attorney, John Prior, entered the plea and requested a jury trial.

The Rexburg Police Department arrested Daybell Tuesday after investigators excavated a section of his Salem property and discovered the remains of 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow and 17-year-old Tylee Ryan. The two children disappeared in September 2019 and their mother, Lori Vallow Daybell, is also behind bars in connection to the case.

The document announcing Daybell’s plea is not the only filing submitted by Prior on Monday. He also submitted his request for discovery, a standard practice for defense attorneys in preparation for their client’s defense.

Prior asked special prosecutor Rob Wood for any pertinent statements made by Daybell during the investigation and statements made by a potential co-defendant.

Prior did not return EastIdahoNews.com’s request for comment.

Details surrounding how investigators were led to Daybell’s property are unknown. An affidavit of probable cause was sealed by court order because it “is necessary to prevent harm to any person or persons.”

Wood noted during Daybell’s initial appearance that the concealment of one of the bodies was “particularly egregious.”

While Daybell states his plea as not guilty, it remains unclear if he is waiving his preliminary hearing. The online Idaho court docket still lists July 1 and July 2 as dates for that hearing.

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