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Daybell trial pushed back, no new date set

Daybell Case

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ST. ANTHONY — The trial against Chad and Lori Daybell has been pushed back after their attorneys said Tuesday they are not ready for the scheduled dates in July.

Mark Means, Lori’s attorney, and John Prior, Chad’s attorney, asked Judge Stephen Boyce to delay the proceeding. A new date was not set but a hearing for pre-trial motions is scheduled on June 9 – the one-year anniversary of when 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow and 16-year-old Tylee Ryan, two of Lori’s children, were found buried on Chad’s property.

The Daybells have pleaded not guilty to felonies related to the alteration, destruction and concealment of the bodies.

Prosecutor Rob Wood said he and his co-counsel, attorney Rachel Smith of Missouri, were ready for the July trial.

Prior said he has dozens of items to discuss with Wood and Smith before going to trial. He also said he still needs to ask to move the trial from Fremont County and may potentially hold a hearing to ask Chad’s case to be severed from Lori’s.

In October, Boyce approved to try the Daybells together for efficiency after Wood said he planned to use the same evidence and witnesses to prosecute. If Prior officially files a motion to sever, Boyce could order the trials to happen separately.

While the Daybells attorneys are preparing for a trial, investigators are still looking into the deaths of Chad and Lori’s former spouses. Chad’s wife, Tammy Daybell, underwent an autopsy after she died on Oct. 19, 2019, just weeks before he married Lori. Charles Vallow, Lori’s husband also died in 2019 after her brother Alex Cox shot and killed him at an Arizona home.

Details on Tammy’s autopsy have not yet been made public.

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