Judge denies Lori Daybell’s request to dismiss casePublished at | Updated at
ST. ANTHONY — While acknowledging there have been some delays, a judge denied Lori Vallow Daybell’s request to dismiss her case due to lack of a speedy trial.
District Judge Steven Boyce issued his ruling Monday afternoon in a 15-page response to a motion filed by Daybell’s attorneys last month. Jim Archibald and John Thomas argued Daybell’s constitutional rights have been ignored because she has yet to have a jury trial.
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Idaho law requires a trial be held within six months from the date a defendant is arraigned if that person does not waive their right to a speedy trial. Daybell has not waived that right and she, along with her husband Chad Daybell, are set for an 8-10 week trial in Ada County beginning April 3.
The couple is charged with 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 children – along with Chad’s previous wife, Tammy Daybell.
Boyce wrote the delay in court proceedings, as a whole, is minimal given the overall charges and maximum penalties that could be imposed. He laid out the timeline of Daybell’s case, including her Feb. 2020 arrest, the murder indictment issued by a grand jury in May 2021, her arraignment in April 2022 and the two times proceedings were paused due to her competency issues.
“It is important to note that during the time Lori’s case was stayed (paused) pending determination of her competency to stand trial, the Jan. 9, 2023 trial setting was necessarily vacated,” Boyce wrote, referring to the original trial date scheduled within the six-month time frame of arraignment.
The judge also addressed the massive amount of evidence, some of which is still outstanding, and the fact the case involves an alleged co-conspirator, a deceased co-conspirator (Alex Cox – Daybell’s brother), multiple homicides and an “incredibly complex investigation” that extends into multiple states.
“All parties have agreed at various times that the discovery is exceptionally voluminous, causing concerns about trial preparation and adequate disclosures,” Boyce wrote.
Boyce’s ruling comes the same week that mediation efforts will get underway in both Daybell cases, EastIdahoNews.com has learned. Archibald mentioned in a hearing last month that prosecutors sent him a letter asking if Lori Daybell was interested in settling the case.
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Mediation and settlement conferences are confidential but can result in plea agreements between defendants and prosecutors before trials are scheduled to begin.
The next public hearing in the case is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 23. Several motions will be heard, including one from Chad Daybell’s attorney to sever the cases.
Chad and Lori Daybell have pleaded not guilty to all charges.