Status conference scheduled Lori Vallow Daybell case
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ST. ANTHONY — A hearing to discuss Lori Vallow Daybell’s mental competency commitment is scheduled for Friday morning.
The hearing, which will be closed to the public, comes after both prosecutors and Daybell’s defense attorney Jim Archibald asked for a status conference to discuss her commitment, according to court documents obtained by EastIdahoNews.com. The hearing is sealed as ordered by District Judge Steven Boyce.
“The court finds a compelling interest is at stake in the need to preserve a fair trial, and no reasonable alternative exists to protect this fundamental right except to conduct a closed hearing at this time,” Boyce wrote in an order to seal.
Daybell has been in Idaho Department of Health and Welfare custody since June 2021 after Boyce committed her. A mental health professional said Daybell was not mentally competent to assist in her defense and her case was put on hold.
Boyce reviewed Daybell’s competency status in September and was due to take up the issue again 180 days later or until Health and Welfare deemed her able to stand trial. If Boyce held the commitment hearing 180 days after the initial Sept. 23 hearing, a new date would be around March 22.
In the weeks leading up to Friday’s hearing, Boyce sealed a Jan. 13 Forensic Mental Health Evaluation from IDHW.
Daybell and her husband Chad Daybell are charged with multiple counts of conspiracy to commit murder and first-degree murder, among other crimes. The charges are in relation to the deaths of 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow, 16-year-old Tylee Ryan — two of Lori’s kids — and Chad Daybell’s first wife, Tammy Daybell.
A jury trial for the Daybells is scheduled to begin in January 2023.