LIVE UPDATES FROM THE LORI VALLOW DAYBELL TRIAL
EDITOR’S NOTE: The following story contains graphic information. Reader discretion is advised.
3 p.m. Here are the sketches from today.
12:57 p.m. There are no further witnesses for today. Court is dismissed until Monday at 8:30 a.m. Join me and Erica Eaton (my wife!) tonight for a special edition of ‘Courtroom Insider’ at 7:30 p.m. MT. She’s been in the courtroom all day with me. Watch on my Facebook page or the EastIdahoNews.com YouTube channel.
12:56 p.m. Lindsey Blake requests a sidebar. White noise is played in the courtroom.
12:55 p.m. Rawlings has no further questions. Archibald has no questions. Miller is released from the witness stand.
12:54 p.m. Miller said there was going to be no funeral and people at her school wanted to honor Tammy. People in the community wanted to honor her. “My principal planned a memorial, printed off the programs and basically put it together,” Miller says.
12:53 p.m. On the day before Tammy died, Miller saw Tammy checking kids into the lunch line. “She was happy, jovial. She would smile at the kids and compliment them.” Tammy did not complain about being sick and was not coughing. “On Friday I see her at school. Things are great and the next morning, I hear that she’s passed.”
12:51 p.m. It was a Zumba class that included planks, Latin dancing, push-ups, burpees, lot of squats, jumping jacks – it was highly aerobic, Miller says. Tammy regularly attended with her daughter between fall 2018-fall 2019.
12:48 p.m. The next witness called by the state is Shanna Miller. Miller was on the committee to interview Tammy at the school and took a high fitness class with Tammy and her daughter twice a week. Miller says in the weeks prior to Tammy’s death, she appeared very healthy.
12:46 p.m. Harris attended a high fitness class with Tammy in late September 2019 in St. Anthony. Harris and Tammy worked out next to each other. “That class is very high intensity. We’re doing squats, jumping jacks, burpees, a lot of up and down,” Harris says. Tammy was able to keep up with the class and Harris did not witness any limitations in her ability to participate. Rammell has no more questions for Harris. Archibald has no questions. Harris is released to go.
12:44 p.m. Harris says Tammy was in the clogging class from the end of August/early September 2019 until the time of her death. Each clogging class was 60 minutes long. Kelsey says clogging is closer to “Riverdance” than “Singing in the Rain.” It’s fast-paced activity. Harris says in her observation, Tammy never fell behind or quit early because of exhaustion. Her participation was consistent with the rest of her group.
12:42 p.m. The next witness is Kelsey Harris. Harris was Tammy Daybell’s clogging teacher and Harris worked with Tammy at the school. Madison County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Spencer Rammell will be questioning Harris.
12:41 p.m. Rawlings has no further questions for Cook. Archibald has no questions. Cook is released from the witness stand.
12:39 p.m. Cook says Tammy was active with her email and knew computers well. Employees were expected to check their email accounts during summer months. In the archive system, Cook says one email was received from Charles Vallow that was in Tammy’s deleted folder. Cook says Charles’ email address was blocked in her email. It was the only email listed in Tammy’s account under the “blocked” section.
12:37 p.m. Cook says the email in the district is stored in two different places – the inbox the user gets and an archive that only Cook and his team have access to. Tammy was the librarian at a school. Cook was contacted in April 2021 by the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office for help checking Tammy’s email account from June 29, 2019. Cook says she received 36 emails that week. “There were several deleted off her account. I think there were six emails that were saved.”
12:36 p.m. Spencer Cook is the next witness called to the stand. Cook is the technology director for the Sugar-Salem School District. Tawyna Rawlings is questioning Cook.
12:34 p.m. Dye says she believed Chad Daybell’s version of events. “Chad Daybell convinced you and the deputy and the investigator that nothing bad happened?” Dye said that was the conclusion. Archibald has no further questions. Blake has nothing further. Dye is released from the stand.
12:32 p.m. Dye says she told Chad Daybell there might be an autopsy. He told her he did not feel it was necessary. Dye responded that if they felt it was necessary, they would do one. “Emma, the daughter, was very adamant about not having an autopsy done. Garth was also on scene. He did not voice his opinion,” Dye says. Emma was against it because she didn’t want that done to her mom, Dye says.
12:31 p.m. Archibald asks Dye if the time of death has changed for Tammy. Dye says no. She says the original cause of death was pulmonary edema and manner of death was natural causes. Archibald asks why it has not changed. Dye says it’s because of the medical examiner who performed the autopsy.
12:30 p.m. Archibald asks if Dye has changed the death certificate. Dye says she has not pending trial. Archibald asks what will change at the trial. Dye says when she spoke with vital statistics, the cause of death is pending until she changes it.
12:28 p.m. Blake asks Dye if she intends to modify the death certificate in Tammy’s case. Dye says yes. She will change cause of death to asphyxiation with the manner of death homicide. Blake has no further questions. Jim Archibald will conduct cross-examination.
12:26 p.m. Dye attended the autopsy on Tammy conducted by a medical examiner in Utah. Dye says the medical examiner determined the cause of death as asphyxiation and manner of death was a homicide. Dye says she has no reason to dispute those findings.
12:25 p.m. Dye says when she grabbed the towel in the bedroom, it had residue on it so it appeared Chad had tried to wipe her face.
12:24 p.m. Blake shows a close-up photo of Tammy Daybell’s face with pink sputum coming from her mouth. Chad described to Dye that Tammy’s head and upper part of her body fell out of the bed. “If she had actually fallen out of bed, would you expect to see the foam dripping somewhere else or a different direction?” Blake asks. Dye says yes.
12:22 p.m. We are back from the break. Coroner Brenda Dye remains on the stand and Lindsey Blake will continue direct examination.
11:34 a.m. Dye eventually attended an autopsy performed by a medical examiner in Utah. Boyce says we will take a second break for the day.
11:32 a.m. After consulting with detectives, Dye decided not to have an autopsy done. Chad did not want an autopsy done. Dye completed a death certificate for Tammy Daybell. She said that Tammy died of natural causes. Dye said that was based on information Chad and one of his daughters gave her.
11:31 a.m. Dye estimated the time of death for Tammy was between 12:30-2 a.m. based on the rigor mortis and lividity in her back.
11:29 a.m. Dye says she consulted with the detectives and the morgue about whether to do an autopsy. She says there was nothing suspicious about the scene but Dye did ask Chad how Tammy could fall out of bed if she was deceased. He said he must have pulled the top sheet when he rolled over in his sleep releasing her because she liked to sleep on the edge of the bed.
11:28 a.m. We now see a photo of Tammy’s body on the bed. The mattress is a little off of the box spring. Blake asks Dye if she moved the mattress. Dye says she did not and the photo is an accurate description of how the bed looks. Dye did not notice any head bruises.
11:26 a.m. Dye says because the lividity was on her backside, she died while on her back. Chad said Tammy had been feeling “off” and fell outside. She went to the doctor and had a sprain on her wrist but Chad said she was prescribed Tramadol. Chad said she had taken all the medicine and there was no bill pottle in the house.
11:25 a.m. Dye says Chad told her that Tammy slept on the edge of the bed with her leg out of the covers because she was having hot flashes.
11:24 a.m. When Dye noticed the sputum, Chad said that Tammy had leg convulsions and said she had seizures. He did not volunteer this information until Dye asked further questions.
11:22 a.m. Dye asked Chad for more information about Tammy’s health. “He said that she had been feeling really off lately – like she wasn’t in her body,” Dye says. Chad said Tammy had been having some fainting episodes including one at the temple where she passed out on the floor. Chad said Tammy had very low blood pressure and wouldn’t go to the doctors. He said she tried to treat everything naturally.
11:20 a.m. Dye says there was lividity on Tammy’s back – where the blood pools at the lowest point of the body due to loss of circulation. Blake is showing Dye the photos of Tammy after she died. On one photo, you can see some bruising on the upper right arm.
11:18 a.m. Dye says there was a blood-tinged sputum coming from Tammy’s mouth. Before this call, Dye had responded to 20 deaths. None of them had been death by asphyxiation. As an EMT, Dye had seen the sputum before. She noticed a kitchen hand towel that Chad had used to wife her face with the towel. Dye also used the towel to wipe away the sputum but it kept coming out of Tammy’s mouth.
11:16 a.m. Chad says Tammy had a coughing fit the night before and threw up in the toilet. He said both he and Garth saw Tammy throw up in the toilet. Tammy went back to sleep after the episode, Chad said. Blake now shows a photo of the bedroom with Tammy in the bed.
11:15 a.m. Chad and Garth told Dye that they moved Tammy’s body back on the bed. Chad said when Tammy fell out of bed, he felt her and she was cold. He yelled for Garth and he came in to help his bad move the body back on the bed.
11:13 a.m. Dye arrived after Willmore. Dye says Chad was “clearly distraught, upset, crying that his wife was deceased.” She says she didn’t observe anything that caused concerns. Before going back to see Tammy’s body, Dye spoke with Willmore and Greenhalgh in the kitchen of the home.
11:12 a.m. Just before 6 a.m. on Oct. 19, 2019, Dye was called to an unattended death. She called Willmore to respond because Willmore lived closer than Dye. “The reporting party was very distressed and upset so I had the deputy coroner go so she could meet me on scene.”
11:10 a.m.11:09 a.m. Dye has been an EMT for five years and an advanced EMT for 20 years.
11:08 a.m. Fremont County Coroner Brenda Dye is called to the stand. Lindsey Blake will be questioning Dye.
11:05 a.m. Blake asks Willmore if, at the time, she had heard the names JJ Vallow, Tylee Ryan, Alex Cox or Lori Vallow. At that time, she had not. Blake has no further questions. Archibald has no questions for Willmore. She is released from the stand.
11:04 a.m. When Brenda Dye (the coroner) arrived, she took over. Willmore would have determined if an autopsy was needed if the coroner was not there but because Dye was on scene, Willmore didn’t make the call. Chad Daybell did not want an autopsy performed as Dye and Willmore were discussing the option. “He said no.” Willmore says she had concerns for Tammy’s death because of her age and the foam.
11:02 a.m. Willmore asked to see Tammy’s medications. There were herbs and natural-type medicines but nothing abnormal. Chad told Willmore Tammy had been light-headed. Willmore says on the scene, they have no medical records from the person but they rely on what family members tell them.
11:01 a.m. There was nothing to indicate Tammy’s head hit the nightstand, Willmore says. Coroner Brenda Dye then arrived on scene and Willmore deferred to her. Willmore asked Chad if Tammy had been ill. He said she had not been well for the past month and didn’t go to the doctor.
11 a.m. Blake shows a close-up photo of Tammy’s face and Willmore describes a “pink, frothy foam.” Willmore was wondering what caused it and she thought it could have been congestive heart failure. Willmore had never been to a death scene where she saw pink foam. “It caused me enough concern that I got my phone and looked up poisoning. I also looked up foam just because I thought it was weird and I had not seen that before.”
10:57 a.m. Willmore believes Tammy had been dead for a few hours. “She was 49 so this was unusual because she’s not that old. I was looking for things on her neck, bruising, scratches, those kind of things,” Willmore says. She observed bruises on her forearm but they didn’t look new.
10:55 a.m. Willmore says the county coroner called her and asked her to respond to the house because Willmore was closer. Blake shows Willmore the photo of Tammy lying on the bed under the blanket. Willmore says when she walked in, Tammy had foam coming out of her mouth – “quite a bit of foam” – and Willmore says “that was odd.” When Willmore touched Tammy, she realized Tammy had been dead for a while because she was so cold and her body was stiff.
10:53 a.m. Willmore had never responded to an asphyxiation death before. Chad told Willmore Tammy got sick around midnight and was in the bathroom vomiting. He said she became ok and went back to bed. Chad said Tammy was in menopause and liked to sleep with her leg outside of the bed. Later on, he said he heard Tammy fall out of the bed. “He said he got up and she was out of the bed with her head and body down with one leg twisted in the blankets. She was cold and not breathing at the time.”
10:51 a.m. Willmore says she was fairly new as a deputy coroner and had responded to five unattended deaths before Oct. 201. She was called to the report of Tammy Daybell’s death. When she arrived at the house, Chad Daybell was at the house. “He was distressed, distraught, appropriately so, saying he found his wife dead.”
10:49 a.m. Willmore has been an EMT for 14 years and was a medical assistant for 40 years. Willmore was the deputy coroner in Fremont County in 2019. “I will go on calls when the coroner is not available. I live in St. Anthony and respond to deaths in that area. I go in, access the body, pronounce time of death, try to gather information on why the person is deceased.”
10:47 a.m. Next witness up is Cammy Willmore. Willmore is a Fremont County Advanced EMT. Blake will be questioning her.
10:45 a.m. Blake has some follow-up questions and asks if it appeared Tammy had only been dead 10-20 minutes. Greenhalgh says it appeared she had been dead longer than that. Tammy’s body was cold to the touch but she could not determine if rigor mortis was setting in. Blake has no further questions.
10:44 a.m. “Bodies don’t move if they are deceased. For her to fall off the bed, she would have been alive at that point,” Archibald says. He asks if CPR had been performed on Tammy between 5:40 a.m. and 6 a.m. She responds, “To my knowledge, it was not performed.” Archibald has no further questions.
10:42 a.m. Archibald asks Greenhalgh what time she responded to the Daybell’s house. It was around 6 a.m. Archibald asks Greenhalgh why she didn’t ask Chad why he waited 20 minutes to call 911. She says she did not specifically ask Chad that.
10:41 a.m. The next image is a close-up of Tammy Daybell’s face at the morgue. The pink foam has been removed. Blake has no further questions. Jim Archibald will be cross-examining Greenhalgh.
10:40 a.m. We now see a very close image of Tammy’s face and there is pink foam coming out of her mouth. Greenhalgh says Tammy had a small bruise on her arm.
10:39 a.m. Greenhalgh did not move Tammy’s body but when other deputies arrived, they moved it to make an assessment. The next photo shows the pink foam at Tammy’s mouth.
10:37 a.m. The next image shows Tammy’s body on the bed under a dark blue/black comforter. You can see her head. The next image is a close-up of Tammy dead on the bed. “She had some reddish pink foam on her mouth that was running down her cheek.” That is displayed on the photo. Greenhalgh says she has never responded to another death where foam was present. The next photo is zoomed in on Tammy’s face.
10:36 a.m. The first photo was taken from the entry of Tammy’s bedroom. Tammy is on the bed. The sheets are blue and there is a blue blanket/comforter over her body. The next image shows a mat, towels and clothes on the floor next to the bed.
10:35 a.m. Archibald says to Boyce that he took special precautions for the photos of the children and suggests maybe he should consider that. Boyce says he has seen the photos and will allow them to be displayed to the public even though they are graphic in nature.
10:34 a.m. Archibald argues the photos are too graphic and may be more prejudicial. He objects to having the photos shown. Blake says they are an accurate description of the scene. Boyce overrules the objection and the pictures are admitted.
10:32 a.m. Greenhalgh says Garth Daybell never contradicted his father and did not give any information to the deputies. Greenhalgh took photos of the scene and Blake asks to admit the pictures.
10:30 a.m. Chad told the deputy that Tammy hated to see the doctor and had fallen in the driveway about a month prior. Chad did not say anything about Tammy having fainting spells but he said she had issues with her blood pressure. In the courtroom – Lori is looking back and forth from the witness and Blake. Her arms are folded.
10:29 a.m. Chad told Greenhalgh Tammy woke up coughing around midnight and then vomited. He helped her recover and then assisted her back to bed. Chad said around 5:45 a.m., Tammy then partially fell off the bed. He said “her feet and legs had gotten caught in the sheets. Her torso had fallen off the bed but her head was on the floor.” Chad said he and his son moved the body back into the bed and covered her with blankets. That’s how Greenhalgh saw her. It was apparent Tammy was dead.
10:27 a.m. When dispatched to an unattended death, Greenhalgh says they are looking for obvious signs of foul play, disturbances at the scene, broken furniture, things pushed around, gunshot wounds, stab wounds, etc. Greenhalgh says there were no signs of a break-in or disturbance at the house. Chad led Greenhalgh to Tammy’s body, which was in the bedroom on the bed. Greenhalgh said Chad told her he had moved the body.
10:26 a.m. When she arrived, Greenhalgh says Chad and Garth both met her in the living room. Chad seemed “distraught” and was crying. Garth was reserved and quiet. Greenhalgh says an unattended death is when someone is not under a physician’s care.
10:25 a.m. Greenhalgh used to work for the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office. She was working the morning of Oct. 19, 2019 and responded to Chad Daybell’s house for a report of an unattended death.
10:22 a.m. We are back from the morning break. The prosecution calls Officer Alyssa Greenhalgh with the Rexburg Police Dept.
9:53 a.m. Blake has no further questions. Archibald will cross-examine West. “Someone identifying themselves as Chad Daybell asks for an ambulance or a coroner?” West responds, “I don’t think he asked for anything. I think he said his house was on the corner. He did not say anything about an ambulance or coroner.” Archibald says he may have misheard what Chad said. (It did sound like he said coroner on the call.)
9:51 a.m. “We just found my mom. She’s on the ground frozen…or she’s stiff. I don’t know,” one of Tammy’s sons says. Chad comes on the phone and says, “I’m Chad the husband. She’s clearly dead.” West asks for clarification on where Chad lives. “Oh no,” you hear Chad say as he’s crying. “She’s frozen.” He then calmly says his name, “Chad Daybell.” He continues to sound like he’s crying while saying, “Oh man.” The dispatcher says, “I’m so sorry,” and says someone is on the way.
9:49 a.m. West was working the morning of Oct. 19, 2019. She received a call about a deceased person – Tammy Daybell. West had never heard Tammy’s name prior to that day. Blake asks to play the 911 call.
9:47 a.m. Christina West is the next witness. She was a dispatcher at the Fremont County Sherriff’s Office in 2019. Lindsey Blake is questioning West.
9:44 a.m. Boyce asks for a quick sidebar with the attorneys. White noise is played in the courtroom.
9:43 a.m. Kaaiakamanu tells Tammy she will send a deputy. Rawlings has no further questions for the dispatcher. Archibald has no questions. Kaaiakamanu is dismissed from the witness stand.
9:41 a.m. I believe this is the first time I’ve heard Tammy’s voice. She says she went inside the house to get her husband and son. “The man in the driveway didn’t say anything. He was holding the gun like he had a rifle and was shooting at me, but nothing came out of the gun, so I don’t think it was loaded.” She says Chad and her son went outside, but the man “was long gone.”
9:41 a.m. We now hear Tammy Daybell’s call. She says she needs to report something, and Kaaiakamanu asks for the address. Tammy says there was a suspicious person. “I pulled up into our driveway, and I was getting stuff out of the backseat of my car. He had a paintball gun like he was going to shoot at me. I kept asking what he was doing, and I yelled for my husband. He took off behind my house.”
9:38 a.m. Rawlings now asks to play the second 911 call made by Tammy Daybell following the shooting incident.
9:37 a.m. Kaaiakamanu tells Murray she will send a deputy to his mother’s home.
9:33 a.m. The first call is Joseph Murray. He tells the dispatcher his mother-in-law got home about ten minutes ago. “She thinks a man wearing a ski mask came up to her.” Murray explains what happened and Kaaiakamanu asks for the address. It’s hard to hear, and Murray is muffled. The dispatcher asks Murray twice if he’s still on the line. “Does she know what direction he ended up running?” Murray says the man headed east back behind the house. Kaaiakamanu asks if there’s a description of clothing. Murray says he didn’t get one.
9:31 a.m. Rawlings wants to play the first part of one call so Kaaiakamanu can authenticate that it’s her voice. The entire call will then be played.
9:30 a.m. The calls from Oct. 9 were recorded. Rawlings asks to submit the calls into evidence.
9:29 a.m. The calls are recorded and stored. Kaaiakamanu was working Oct. 9 and received two phone calls about the possible shooting. The first call came in around 9:30-9:45 toward the end of the dispatcher’s shift. The next call came in around five minutes later. Kaaiakamanu did not know Tammy Daybell but knew she was the librarian at school.
9:28 a.m. Kaaiakamanu worked as a dispatch for 2.5 years and was a supervisor. She took 911 calls and dispatched police, fire and EMS to respond to those calls.
9:26 a.m. Deputy Helena Kaaiakamanu is the next witness. Kaaiakamanu works for the St. Anthony Police Department but was a 911 dispatcher with the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office. Tawyna Rawlings will be questioning her.
9:25 a.m. Archibald has no further questions for Cannon. Prosecutors have nothing further so Cannon is released from the witness stand.
9:23 a.m. Archibald cross-examining Cannon. He asks what Cannon did the night of Oct. 9. Cannon says Tammy did not have any paint on her and there were no signs of paint in the area. “You looked for bullet holes in a car?” Archibald asks. Cannon says he looked in the immediate area for shell casings and found nothing.
9:22 a.m. Cannon looked around for shell casings and could not find anything. Cannon says Tammy was pretty convinced it was a paintball gun. On Jan. 3, 2020, Cannon helped the FBI rake through the snow at Chad’s house to locate any shell casings. No casings were ever found. There was no evidence of paint anywhere. Rawlings has no further questions for Cannon.
9:20 a.m. Cannon spoke with Joseph Murray who was kitty-corner from the home cutting wood. He said he heard Tammy scream and then called 911. This happened a little before 9 p.m. Cannon says it wasn’t super dark – it was dusk.
9:19 a.m. Cannon says Tammy was a little nervous but not shaken up. She said she had returned from the grocery store and was unloading groceries when she looked up. There was a man wearing all black standing there. She asked what he wanted, and the man then fired two shots at her. She screamed for Chad, and the man took off. Tammy thought it might be her son because they had the same build. Cannon says Chad and Garth did not seem upset and were calm.
9:18 a.m. Cannon received a description from dispatch that the shooter was a man wearing all black with a black ski mask. He drove around to see if he could find anyone and could not. Cannon then knocked on the door, and Tammy, Chad and Garth Daybell were there. Tammy came to the door.
9:15 a.m. Cannon has been a deputy for nine years. He was working a 12-hour shift on Oct. 9, 2019. He was called to 200 North 1900 East in the county for a report of a suspicious individual who had pointed a paintball gun at a lady. Cannon was in the Egin area of Fremont County when he got the call. It took him 6-7 minutes to get to the house. He drove with his police lights activated but shut them off as he approached the house so the suspect would not see him coming. Joseph Murray, Tammy’s son-in-law, and Tammy Daybell both called dispatch.
9:14 a.m. Next witness on the stand is Fremont County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Colter Cannon. Fremont County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Tawyna Rawlings will be questioning Cannon.
9:13 a.m. Samantha leaves the witness stand, and Larry and Kay Woodcock reach out for a hug before Samantha leaves the courtroom with her husband.
9:12 a.m. Blake asks Samantha if Chad ever told her about him having a vision that Tammy would die before she was 50. “He never said that at all.” Blake asks Samantha if all five of Chad’s kids are still alive. Samantha responds that they are. Blake has no further questions.
9:11 a.m. Chad never came around Tammy’s family after he got remarried. “He wouldn’t even tell my parents he got remarried. He made his daughter call my mom.”
9:10 a.m. Blake has some follow-up questions for Samantha. She asks if Chad ever spoke to her about how they were going to support themselves after Tammy died because Tammy was the main breadwinner. Samantha mentions there was life insurance money, and “he told us (his new spouse) had lots of money.”
9:09 a.m. Samantha says she has never met Lori because Chad and Lori left for Hawaii. At the end of November 2019, Chad and Lori and all of Chad’s kids went to Knott’s Berry Farm and the beach in California. Chad’s kids told Samantha about the trip. Archibald ends his questioning by saying, “I’m sorry for the loss of your sister.” Samantha tearfully responds, “Thank you.”
9:07 a.m. The visit in Oct. 2019 with Samantha and Tammy in Utah was before the driveway gun incident. They then texted each other about the incident when it happened and Samantha was told some teenager tried to fire a paintball gun at her.
9:06 a.m. “Did she ever say to you that my husband has had a vision that I’m going to die?” Archibald says. Samantha says no. She was not making arrangements to die. After Tammy died, Samantha says she felt “something had happened to her and I didn’t even know why. I had no reason to suspect Chad. I had no reason to suspect anything, but I do feel as a spiritual person myself that my sister was telling me something had happened to her.”
9:04 a.m. In June 2019, Chad and Tammy came to stay with them to celebrate Chad’s mom’s birthday. Samantha says the next month, Chad and Tammy came back, but they didn’t know they were in Springville. There was a movie premiere tied to a book Chad helped write. “They happened to be in town for that, and they just showed up at our door to give me my birthday present.” Chad sat in the car, and “it was very unusual.” The next time Samantha saw Tammy was in Oct. 2019. Tammy looked healthy and fine.
9:03 a.m. Archibald asks what a cemetery sexton is. Samantha says they oversee everything at the cemetery, the upkeep, helping people with services, etc. Chad did this for “quite some time,” starting in high school as a teenager and then into his adult life. “It was something he knew how to do, and it paid well.” Samantha says Chad did not take a job as a sexton in Idaho.
9:01 a.m. Archibald asks if Chad and Tammy were empty nesters when Tammy died. Samantha says they had a son living at home and another son on an LDS mission in Africa. All of Chad and Tammy’s children were adults when she died.
9 a.m. Samantha says she’s an avid reader and read some of Chad’s books to support him, but she’s a teacher and doesn’t have time to read everything. She doesn’t know if Tammy believed what Chad wrote was true.
8:59 a.m. Samantha says most of Chad’s books were fictional and geared toward religious aspects. Some were advertised as fiction; others were not. “Were you aware that at one time he said everything I have written is true?” Archibald asks. Samantha says she doesn’t know about that statement and doesn’t recall him ever saying that to her.
8:58 a.m. Tammy helped Chad write the books. “Did you ever hear Tammy say, ‘Chad, quit trying to sell books? Get a real job,'” Archibald asks. Samantha says she never heard a conversation like that. Tammy helped Chad publish the books and was in charge of the graphic design of the books. She was instrumental in the process.
8:57 a.m. Archibald asks Samantha if Tammy went with Chad to his conferences. Samantha says she didn’t go with him because she had a job and was taking care of the kids. Archibald asks Tammy where Chad would go to sell his books. Samantha says she didn’t track him, but he’s been to Idaho, Arizona, Utah to speak and sell his books.
8:55 a.m. Samantha doesn’t recall when Chad first talked to her about his near-death experiences. She says those are normally spiritual experiences that people keep private. Archibald responds, “Chad was making money and writing books and going to conferences based off his spiritual experiences.”
8:53 a.m. Archibald asks Samantha when Chad and Tammy moved to Rexburg. She says she doesn’t remember the exact year but says they lived in Rexburg at least three or four years before Tammy died. Samantha says it became harder to stay in touch after Chad and Tammy moved to Rexburg. Archibald asks if Chad spoke to Samantha about his near-death experiences. She says he did. Archibald asks Samantha to describe Chad’s books. “They were very spiritual in nature. He did make some money off them – I don’t know the exact amount.”
8:51 a.m. The obituary says Tammy died peacefully in her sleep. Archibald asks Samantha where she got that information. Samantha says that’s what they were led to believe by information Chad gave them. Archibald asks about Spring Creek Book Company and if it was Chad’s full-time job. Samantha says sometimes yes and he would sometimes work at the cemetery. Spring Creek went bankrupt after a distribution issue. Deseret Book sent back a bunch of extra books that had been printed that were not selling, Samantha says.
8:51 a.m. You can read Tammy’s obituary here: https://www.flammfh.com/obituary/tamara-daybell
8:49 a.m. Archibald asks that Samantha be handed a copy of Tammy’s obituary. He asks who wrote it. Samantha said she wrote it with some of her family members. “Chad had given us some information, but myself and my parents had put it together.”
8:48 a.m. Blake has no further questions. Jim Archibald will be cross-examining Samantha.
8:46 a.m. Samantha found an obituary for Charles and a comment Kay Woodcock left that said, “We will take care of JJ.” After learning there were children involved, Samantha said to Chad, “Please tell me about this woman you replaced my sister with.” Chad responded that Lori had a hard life, and they were trying to stay away from the stigma of what had happened to her. Samantha asked if Chad and Lori would be raising kids together. “He told me no. There’s no children and they were going to be empty nesters.”
8:44 a.m. Tammy learned Chad was remarried one month to the day of Tammy’s passing. “You don’t get married four weeks after you just buried your wife of almost 30 years. You just don’t do that.” Samantha says they then learned that Chad remarried two weeks after Tammy’s death, “and we were devastated.” Chad told Samantha that his new wife’s name was Lori Ryan, and her previous husband had a heart attack. “They were both grieving the passing of spouses.” “As any good sister did, I went to the internet to see who this woman was. I discovered (Lori’s) name was tied to Vallow, and it brought up newspaper articles about a man in Arizona who had been shot in his own home by his brother-in-law. I took that to my husband and said, ‘I think this is the same woman who he married. He did not die of a heart attack.'”
8:43 a.m. Samantha says some family members weren’t able to come to the funeral because it happened so quick. She says the summer before Tammy died, Chad seemed “more distant” and was “very different.” “We didn’t know what was going on.”
8:41 a.m. Tammy died on Saturday; her funeral was Tuesday. “It was really quick,” Samantha says. She asked Chad was the funeral was happening so quickly. He said that’s what Tammy would want to avoid the fuss. She asked Chad why they were burying Tammy in Springville rather than in Rexburg where her husband and kids lived. “He said that he thought it would be better if she was down there because it’s cold in Rexburg, and they wouldn’t get to visit her as much.”
8:40 a.m. Tammy was talented in computers. She helped one of her schools get a new computer lab. Samantha recalls that Tammy had been sick with depression a few years before her passing, but two weeks before she died, “Tammy looked very healthy. She did not look sick at all.” When Tammy had been sick before, she spoke with Samantha about it. On the visit two weeks before she died, Tammy never mentioned she felt sick.
8:39 a.m. A photo of Tammy Daybell is shown on the big screen. Blake reminds the jury that Samantha and Tammy were the only two girls in their family. They saw each other every day. Samantha says Tammy and Chad moved to Idaho at the end of the school year and the following school year Tammy found a job in the school system. “She loved working with students.”
8:38 a.m. Samantha Gwilliam is back on the stand. Fremont County Prosecuting Attorney Lindsey Blake is questioning her.
8:32 a.m. Judge Boyce is on the bench and jurors are being brought in.
8:25 a.m. Bailiff is reviewing courtroom conduct rules with the audience. Lori Vallow Daybell is dressed in black today. Prosecutors and defense attorneys are in the courtroom ready to go.
8:24 a.m. Larry and Kay Woodcock are here in the courtroom. He says this week has been very rough – especially for Kay.
8:15 a.m. It’s Friday and court will be held 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. with no lunch break. Samantha Gwilliam, Tammy Daybell’s sister, will be back on the stand to start the day. You can get caught up on anything you missed yesterday here.