ST. ANTHONY — Lori Vallow Daybell’s defense team is asking a judge to pause court proceedings in her case and postpone her trial.
In a motion filed Monday, Jim Archibald and John Thomas, Daybell’s defense attorneys, requested District Judge Steven Boyce continue the trial and toll time limits in the case. Tolling time limits essentially pauses deadlines required by the court to file certain motions.
Daybell and her husband Chad Daybell have pleaded not guilty to multiple counts of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder for the deaths of 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow and 16-year-old Tylee Ryan – two of Lori’s kids – along with Chad’s previous wife, Tammy Daybell. The Daybell’s joint trial is scheduled to begin in January.
A large portion of the two-page motion is redacted but Archibald hints the reason for the continuance request is related to Daybell’s mental health.
“The time limit to file written notice of our intention to raise any issue of mental condition under Idaho Code Title 18 is 90 days before trial,” he wrote.
Daybell’s case was previously paused after she was declared incompetent for trial and committed to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare in June 2021. Ten months later, she was deemed competent and proceedings resumed.
Still, Archibald called Daybell’s mental health “extremely complex and fragile” in court documents filed five months ago and noted she has the potential to be hospitalized again.
“None of the experts employed by the Court and the State of Idaho Department of Health and Welfare claim she is malingering or making up her mental illness. She understands that she will undergo further mental health testing,” Archibald wrote.
In a separate court filing Monday, Idaho Deputy Attorney Amy Long responded on behalf of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare to a request from an author to have sealed court documents in the Daybell cases unsealed.
Long wrote the IDHW does not intend to take a position or participate in the proceedings.
“The Department’s interest in this matter is solely in protecting confidential information of the participants,” Long wrote.
The newest filings come a week after John Prior, Chad Daybell’s attorney, filed motions to sever Chad’s case from his wife’s and postpone the trial until late 2023.
A hearing on the motions is scheduled for Oct. 13 in Fremont County.