Judge denies Vallow Daybell's request to send case back to grand jury - East Idaho News
Daybell Case

Judge denies Vallow Daybell’s request to send case back to grand jury

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ST. ANTHONY — A judge has denied a request from Lori Vallow Daybell’s defense team to reconvene a grand jury for the purpose of clarifying language in her criminal indictment.

Daybell and her husband Chad Daybell are charged with multiple counts of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder for the deaths of 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow, 16-year-old Tylee Ryan — two of Lori’s children — and Chad’s first wife, Tammy Daybell.

RELATED | Judge to decide whether grand jury should clarify Vallow Daybell charges

Counts one and three in the indictment, filed on May 25, 2021, are both labeled, “Conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and grand theft by deception.”

During a hearing last month, John Thomas, Lori Daybell’s defense attorney, argued the counts are complicated because they each include two separate allegations. He and defense attorney Jim Archibald asked Judge Steven Boyce to reconvene a grand jury so the charges could be separated or clarified.

RELATED | Defense asks grand jury to clarify charging language in Daybell indictment

Prosecuting attorney Rob Wood argued the charges are connected and there was no need to have the jury meet again.

In a written decision issued Wednesday, Boyce denied Daybell’s request.

“The Court agrees with the State’s argument that both Count 1 and Count 3 each are separate, single crimes (Conspiracy), and there has been no showing that the grand jury failed to separately vote to indict on each of those counts,” Boyce wrote.

Daybell and her husband have pleaded not guilty to all charges. They are set for a joint trial scheduled to begin in January in Ada County.

The next hearing in the case will be held Sept. 15 where a request from Daybell’s defense team to ban cameras from the courtroom will be discussed. EastIdahoNews.com is joining with two dozen other local, state and national media outlets in opposing the motion. We will have a full report on that issue later today.

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