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Bail lowered for Lori Daybell’s misdemeanor charges, jury trial scheduled

Daybell Case

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REXBURG — Lori Vallow Daybell’s bail was lowered on three Madison County misdemeanor charges and a jury trial has been scheduled for the alleged crimes early next year.

Daybell appeared with her attorney, Mark Means, via Zoom in front of Magistrate Judge Michelle Mallard Friday morning for a pre-trial conference. She is charged with resisting or obstructing officers, criminal solicitation to commit a crime and contempt of court.

She is also charged in Fremont County with two felony counts of conspiracy to destroy, alter, or conceal evidence. The hearing Friday is separate from the Fremont case, where bail remains at $1 million.

Daybell was originally charged in Madison County with two felony counts of desertion and nonsupport of children. Bond was set at $1 million but those charges were dropped July 2, so Means argued the amount should be lowered.

“We think ultimately the $1 million isn’t reflective of the current charges and we ask that the court reduce it to $100,000,” Means said. “My client has been a model inmate and these charges are not of a violent nature. There is no previous criminal record regarding my client in any jurisdiction that we know of.”

Means noted that Daybell’s access to funds are “extremely limited” and explained the maximum penalty she could face if convicted of the misdemeanors would be two years in jail and a $2,500 fine.

Madison County Prosecuting Attorney Rob Wood acknowledged this specific case was now only misdemeanors and requested if Mallard does reduce bond that it be no lower than $250,000. While Daybell only faces misdemeanors in Madison County, Wood argued that the misdemeanors tie directly to the fact that she tried to conceal the location of her deceased children, Joshua “JJ” Vallow and Tylee Ryan. Their remains were discovered buried on Chad Daybell’s property June 9.

Madison County Prosecuting Attorney Rob Wood speaks during a pre-trial conference Friday, July 17, 2020. | Zoom screengrab

“When the defendant obstructed the investigation into the safety and welfare of JJ Vallow, she was hiding the location of her dead child,” Wood said. “When she refused to comply with a lawful order to produce her children, she did so in an effort to conceal the deaths of her minor children all while telling family and friends that they were fine.”

Mallard decided to decrease bond to $50,000 on each charge totaling $150,000. She noted that Daybell would still need to post $1 million in Fremont County to get out of jail. Fremont does not have a women’s facility, so all female inmates from both jurisdictions are housed in Madison County.

The judge said if Daybell is able to post bond, she can have no contact with her husband Chad Daybell.

A jury trial on the three charges was scheduled for Jan. 25-29, 2021. A preliminary hearing on the Fremont County charges is set for Aug. 10 and 11.

Click here for the latest news on the Daybell case.

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