LIVE UPDATES FROM THE LORI VALLOW DAYBELL TRIAL
4:46 p.m. Caught up with Lori Vallow Daybell’s defense team as they were leaving court today. You can watch that exchange here.
4:45 p.m. Here are the final sketches from court today:
4:44 p.m. Rebecca Boone from AP has a good write-up about what happened in court today. You can read that here.
3:12 p.m. We have requested audio from today and will post it as soon as we receive it. I’ll break everything down tonight live at 7:30 p.m. Join me!
3:10 p.m. Thomas has no further questions. Smith says Brandon does not live in Idaho and asks if he can be released from his subpoena. Nobody opposes. Boyce suggests we break for the day before the next witness – Rexburg Police Detective Ray Hermosillo. Court is dismissed for the day.
3:09 p.m. Thomas asks Brandon why police had him identify JJ. “I think I was as close to JJ as Larry and Kay. We were all family.” Brandon says they may have asked Larry, but “it was a pretty overwhelming task to do.”
3:05 p.m. Brandon explains why he had the Jeep’s VIN. Charles asked him to price auto insurance plans for his vehicles.
3:03 p.m. Brandon says the Jeep was parked around 20-30 feet away from him when a shot was fired from the vehicle. Brandon says he’s positive the bullet came from that Jeep. He did not see the muzzle flash but saw a silencer. “I was looking straight at it.”
3:01 p.m. Thomas asking Brandon why Melani would think he was a homosexual. Brandon: “She told me God had told her I was a homosexual.” Thomas follows up by asking Brandon about a video a friend posted on Facebook of him at the Pink Pony – a club in Alabama. Brandon says that came about because he asked Melani to give him evidence that he was a homosexual — and she pointed to this video.
3 p.m. Thomas asks Brandon about the Google searches he did after he was shot at. Brandon says he searched for Chad Daybell’s name to try and get more information about him.
2:58 p.m. Smith is done with her questions. Thomas will now cross-examine Brandon.
2:57 p.m. Brandon is crying, sniffling and wiping tears from his eyes when recalling he was asked by police to identify JJ’s body.
2:55 p.m. When asked where Brandon was when he learned the bodies of JJ and Tylee had been found, he chokes up and says, “I was in my parents’ home in their garage. It was the day before my wedding.” Brandon went to Rexburg on June 11, 2020. When he arrived in Rexburg, he met with Larry and Kay Woodcock and police asked Brandon to identify JJ.
2:53 p.m. Photo of Tylee from her teenage years is admitted as evidence.
2:50 p.m. Tylee’s birth certificate is admitted as evidence.
2:49 p.m. Brandon says, “In my gut, something felt wrong.” He contacted law enforcement after he did a Google search for Chad Daybell’s name and found Tammy Daybell’s obituary. After talking with police, he realized nobody had seen JJ or Tylee for some time.
2:46 p.m. After the shooting, Brandon had some beliefs about who did it, and he became concerned. He remembered a bunch of emails Charles sent him before he died about the groups Melani was in – the religious groups. Brandon went back to check the emails; most came from Chad Daybell.
2:45 p.m. Brandon met with a detective and remembered that Tylee had a green Jeep Charles had purchased for him with Texas plates. Brandon knew the VIN number, so he gave it to law enforcement. Charles had given the VIN to Brandon earlier as Brandon was an insurance agent and ran insurance quotes for all of their vehicles.
2:43 p.m. Brandon noticed a gun with a silencer pointed out. Suddenly his window shattered and he head a gunshot. Brandon accelerated the car and called 911 as he parked next to the public pool. Brandon says he saw the Jeep come around the corner and tried to follow it. The dispatcher told Brandon to park in front of his house, and police then arrived.
2:42 p.m. Brandon said maybe five people knew where he was living – his neighbors, who helped him move in, and Melani, whom he had to tell. As he turned the corner onto the street of his new house, he noticed a Jeep parked really close to a van that was parked on the street. The Jeep Wrangler had a Texas license plate, and there was no tire on the back of the Jeep. Instead, the window was kind of open.
2:40 p.m. Brandon now recounting the events of Oct. 2, 2019. He got the kids ready for school, dropped them off, then took one child to daycare and took the last to Melani’s house. Brandon then went to the gym. After he exercised, he left the gym to go to his new house.
2:33 p.m. Boyce overrules the objection and allows Brandon to proceed with his testimony but warns the state that they must show what they have alleged (that there was a common scheme and plan). Jurors are now being brought back in.
2:30 p.m. Smith says the shooting at Mr. Boudreaux is what got law enforcement involved and interested in the case. Thomas says Smith’s argument is “a stretch at best” and asks Boyce to not allow him to testify about the shooting.
2:28 p.m. We are back from a recess. Judge addressing Thomas’s objection before jurors are brought in. Smith says the information about Brandon being shot at is part of a “common scheme and plan. The defendant with the co-defendant conspired and planned to kill multiple individuals in her world.” Smith says it’s very relevant.
2:10 p.m. Court taking a 15-20 minute recess. Be back shortly.
2:08 p.m. Brandon says on the morning of Oct. 2, 2019, someone shot at him in front of his house. Thomas objects and says this isn’t relevant to the issue at hand. Attorneys are now meeting in a sidebar conference with the judge.
2:07 p.m. Brandon got a rental property, and custody arrangements with Melani were “complicated.” Melani said she was scared of Brandon, and he didn’t get a lot of time with his children.
2:06 p.m. Brandon never saw Tylee or JJ again. Melani and Brandon used a mediator to get a divorce. They searched out the lowest-conflict way to get a divorce.
2:05 p.m. Brandon says he texted Charles and Lori expressing his frustration. Lori never responded, but Charles spoke with him on the phone. Brandon went to a counselor and spoke with his bishop about the situation. Brandon tears up while saying this was the last time he spoke with Charles.
2:03 p.m. After an argument, Brandon went on a walk and came home. He says he wanted to break through to Melani and begged her to tell him what was going on. Melani said she had a revelation from God, “she didn’t feel safe with me at the house and accused me of being a homosexual.” It ended with Melani going to sleep, and Brandon was overwhelmed.
2 p.m. Brandon says in June 2019, he, Melani and his kids went to Utah to stay at Melani’s parents’ home. Brandon’s grandfather died of a heart attack unexpectedly on June 23. Brandon’s mom called to tell him about the death, and Melani said she would not go to the funeral – “she didn’t want anything to do with it.”
1:56 p.m. Brandon says things got “more bizarre” into 2019. In January, Brandon got a call and text message from Charles that Lori was accusing Charles of infidelity. Brandon says things went from zero to 100 “really quick,” and Melani was adamant not to take side in the Lori/Charles split up.
1:55 p.m. Brandon says during trips to Disneyland, Melani would need to go to the temple, and she was focused on the idea that the world was going to end soon. He says they had a disagreement about buying $10,000 worth of food storage because she thought the world was going to end right away.
1:54 p.m. Brandon says Melani felt a need to go to the temple “every single day – which is a little extreme.”
1:53 p.m. Melani began attending “firesides” — meetings — that were not sponsored by the church. “She was coming home with different ideas about what she was going to do to be a faithful member of the church.” Brandon says Lori was at the firesides, but Charles did not attend. Melani told Brandon the firesides were “her thing and was very clear I was not welcome to come.”
1:51 p.m. Brandon says when he first married Melani, her religious level was “low,” and she didn’t enjoy going to church. He says for most of their marriage, he pushed to go to church. In the fall 2018, she started getting “really passionate” about going to church and certain ideas at church.
1:49 p.m. Brandon says the last Christmas his family spent with Charles and Lori was in 2018. He says other people were there, including Melanie Gibb and her family. Brandon says everything felt different, and the relationships were “not very close.”
1:47 p.m. Brandon says Melani looked at Lori like a mom figure – she was always trying to be like her. Brandon and Charles both had a passion for business/sales, and they connected over it. They both loved their families, so “it was easy for us to spend time together.” The Vallows and Boudreauxs spent time together often.
1:46 p.m. Brandon says he was close with Tylee, and when Tylee was 8, she asked Brandon to baptize her. He performed the baptism into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
1:44 p.m. Brandon, holding back tears, chokes up when he says his oldest son was very close to JJ, and they spent a lot of time together. JJ loved to hang out with Brandon’s kids, he says. JJ was fascinated with traveling — Lori grins — and he loved hanging out with Braxton, Brandon’s oldest son.
1:43 p.m. Brandon said he lived with Lori and Charles for part of his marriage to Melani. They spent a lot of time together, and Brandon got to know Lori’s children – Colby, Tylee and JJ.
1:41 p.m. Smith asking Brandon about Melani’s family – her aunts, uncles, grandparents. Brandon says he met many in the family in Arizona, and they spent most holidays together.
1:41 p.m. Brandon was married to Melani for a little over 10 years. They got married in 2008 and have four children.
1:39 p.m. Brandon is sworn in. He’s dressed in a white shirt and light purple tie. Brandon was married to Melani Pawlowski, Lori’s niece. Prosecutor Rachel Smith is questioning him.
1:38 p.m. Thomas has no further questions. Prosecution has nothing further. Kay Woodcock is dismissed, and next witness will be called. That witness is Brandon Boudreaux.
1:36 p.m. Thomas asking her about the printer/scanner. Kay says it was “weird” because she never woke up at 4:30 a.m. with the scanner of her mind. She said it was bothering her – “I think it was divine intervention because of what I found when I got everything hooked up – God’s hand.”
1:35 p.m. Kay says in 2019, Lori left her husband and her child for 58 days. She knows it was 58 days because Charles kept track. “She never reached out to JJ; she never reached out to Charles.”
1:32 p.m. Kay talks about going to help Charles when he said he wanted a divorce. Lori came in and began arguing with Charles. Melanie Gibb was there, and Kay recorded the conversation. Charles then moved to Houston as it was a better place for JJ.
1:30 p.m. Lori is looking at Kay as she answers the questions. Kay is focused ahead on Thomas.
1:28 p.m. Kay says they really wanted to adopt JJ, but in talking with Lori and Charles, their atmosphere was a lot more conducive for a baby. Kay says there were no special schools in Lake Charles for children with disabilities. “Although Charles was five years older than me, he could run circles around a 25-year-old. Lori was 17 years younger than him, and my husband, Larry, was 65. We knew that it was going to be a lot” to care for JJ.
1:27 p.m. Thomas asks Kay about how long she and Larry cared for JJ and the adoption arrangements for JJ.
1:25 p.m. Kay says she learned Lori married Chad Daybell, and Lori was using Charles’ Amazon account to order their items. Kay says she became aware that the bodies of JJ and Tylee were found in Chad’s backyard in June 2020. Wood is done asking questions; now John Thomas will proceed.
1:23 p.m. Kay says she met with Rexburg police in Jan. 2020. She says before this situation, she had never heard of Rexburg, Idaho. At the advice of the FBI, Kay offered a reward for information on JJ. Kay says they reached out to every media outlet they could to get the word out about the missing children.
1:20 p.m. Kay noticed a lot of emails in the account, including a confirmation email of an Amazon order that was sent to an address in Rexburg. Kay said after she saw that, she contacted her private investigator and Brandon Boudreaux. Kay then went into the browsing history of the Amazon account and saw searches for a beach wedding dress, a bathing suit, men’s large white linen top and pants, and malachite wedding rings. The date of the order was Oct. 2, 2019.
1:17 p.m. Wood asks Kay if JJ was ever physically with her in November 2019. Kay says no. Kay says on Nov. 8, 2019, she was at home in Louisiana. She had a printer that belonged to Charles, and when she woke up that day, she went to figure out how to use the scanner on the printer. She woke up early and “something” told her to go to her computer, where she saw Charles’ Gmail account. Charles had given her the password, and it worked.
1:14 p.m. Kay describes when she and Larry went to meet with law enforcement after Charles’s death. They were very concerned about JJ’s wellbeing.
1:12 p.m. Kay Woodcock says the photo of JJ has always been one of her favorites. It’s the picture of JJ buckled into Larry’s pickup truck. This is the image (we have it on file, as evidence is not being released publicly until after the trial is over):
1:10 p.m. Wood shows Kay Woodcock a photo of JJ, and she starts to cry. Wood asks Kay what the document is. She responds through tears, “Our beautiful grandson JJ.”
1:08 p.m. Wood shows Louisiana birth certificate for JJ that says Charles Vallow and Lori Norene Cox are the parents.
1:05 p.m. Wood shows final decree of adoption, and it is admitted into evidence. Kay Woodcock confirms it is the document.
1:02 p.m. Wood shows JJ’s birth certificate on the screen. Kay confirms it is his birth certificate.
1 p.m. We are back from lunch, and Wood will continue questioning Kay Woodcock.
12:57 p.m. We have received the first sketches from the Vallow Daybell hearing. One is Kay Woodcock on the stand; the other is Lori Vallow Daybell with her attorneys.
11:59 a.m. Thomas wants to know how often Kay has met with prosecutors over the years and says the state never told them. Rob Wood responds. Boyce overrules Thomas’ objection. We are now on a lunch break until 12:45 p.m.
11:55 a.m. John Thomas has an objection he wants to make with the jury out of the room. Jury is sent out while Thomas raises his objection about the papers Kay Woodcock referenced containing Lori’s phone numbers.
11:52 a.m. Kay made arrangements to go to Phoenix to pick up JJ and fly him back to his father’s memorial service in Louisiana. Kay was going then fly JJ back to Phoenix. But it never happened – Kay says JJ was allowed to go, but Lori never answered any of her messages to make arrangements. Lori did not go to Charles’s memorial service.
11:51 a.m. Kay says the last conversation she ever had contact with JJ Vallow was on Aug. 10, 2019. It was a very short call – less than a minute. Kay then attempted over the next few months to contact her grandson but could never got any response from Lori.
11:49 a.m. Kay describes another FaceTime call where JJ was in a “foul” mood and he didn’t want to talk. She says JJ was having a meltdown and Kay was very upset that Lori waited until the evening when JJ was overtired to chat with her. Kay says the conversation was under a minute.
11:47 a.m. Kay says she had contact with JJ three more times before he died. She had a FaceTime call with him after Charles died. “He normally had an iPad or a phone and he would walk around and talk to Larry and me. He wouldn’t hold the device to him – he’d walk around and see the ceiling in most of the places where he lived.” But this incident was different. JJ did not have device in his hand – someone was holding it for him and it was a short call. “He would look up and whoever it was was obviously taller than him.”
11:46 a.m. Kay last saw JJ the weekend of May 17, 2019 in Louisiana. They had a pizza party to celebrate JJ’s birthday. JJ spent the weekend with his grandparents and then went back home to Houston.
11:43 a.m. Kay said within a week of Charles’s death, the insurance company contacted her to say she was the beneficiary. Kay says Lori texted her after Charles died. Kay has Lori’s old phone numbers written on paper in front of her and reads out Lori’s two phone numbers.
11:42 a.m. More on the life insurance policy details can be found here.
11:39 a.m. Lori moved to Texas in April 2019 but then she and Charles moved to Chandler in June 2019. Kay says in Feb. 2019, Charles approached her about having her named as beneficiary on his $1 million life insurance policy and take Lori off.
11:37 a.m. Kay says Charles was a financial planner and she began helping Charles with his business in Feb. 2019 because he was distraught over his separation from Lori. Because Kay helped him, she had access to his emails and banking information.
11:34 a.m. Between Feb. 1, 2019 and the end of March 2019, Kay and JJ were back and forth between Arizona and Louisiana. Charles and JJ then moved to Houston. Kay said they still didn’t know where Lori was and Houston was good for Charles’s work – plus it had good schools for JJ and Lake Charles, Louisiana is about 2.5 hours away.
11:33 a.m. Kay went to Arizona and says she and Charles did not know where Lori was. Kay did not see Lori at all while she was there. Kay then brought JJ home to Louisana with her because Charles needed to work. JJ was with Kay and Larry for 1-2 weeks.
11:32 a.m. Kay recalls staying at Charles and Lori’s house in Chandler for two weeks in 2019. Charles reached out to Kay and said Lori was gone. He was very distraught so Kay went to help him with JJ.
11:31 a.m. Kay says Lori was a good mom to JJ. She says Charles was hands-on and engaged with his son.
11:30 a.m. After Charles, Lori and JJ moved back from Hawaii to Arizona, Kay recalls seeing Tylee “being her good sister self to JJ.” Kay says Tylee often went to her grandparents while they were there and ask she got older, Tylee was busy with her friends.
11:29 a.m. Kay recalls meeting Lori’s parents, other family members and her brother Alex Cox at family gatherings.
11:27 a.m. After JJ moved to Hawaii with his parents, Kay and Larry visited less frequently but still maintained contact through the phone and FaceTime. Kay says she had a good relationship with Charles and Lori. “Charles and I were very close – we always got along. And Lori – she was just a doll. We were good friends.”
11:25 a.m. A condition of the adoption was that Larry and Kay remain involved in JJ’s life. Kay says they saw JJ “every chance they could.” After JJ originally moved to Arizona, Kay and Larry went to Arizona within a month because they had a hard time detaching from him. Kay says they visited him about every three months from Louisiana.
11:24 a.m. Kay says Charles and Lori had a much better lifestyle for raising a child than what Larry and Kay had. When JJ was adopted, he moved to Arizona with Charles and Lori. JJ’s name was Canaan but was legally changed to Joshua JJ Vallow when he was adopted.
11:22 a.m. Kay says Charles and Lori approached Kay and Larry saying they would love to adopt JJ when JJ did not go back to his biological parents. Kay said he and Larry thought about it – and ultimately agreed to have Lori and Charles adopt JJ.
11:21 a.m. JJ’s parents never gained custody of the baby. Lori is looking at Kay as she speaks and Rob Wood asks Kay to point at Lori and describe what she is wearing today. Kay does this.
11:19 a.m. Kay says JJ was born at 30 weeks and was in the NICU for weeks. After JJ was released from the hospital, he went home with Kay and Larry because the state took custody of the baby due to drugs in his system. The Woodcocks were deemed as JJ’s caregivers.
11:17 a.m. Wood asks Kay how many children she has and if any of them have ever had a child they could not care for. Kay responds yes – her son and his girlfriend had “issues” when she got pregnant with JJ. When JJ was born, he had drugs in his system.
11:16 a.m. Rob Wood is questioning Kay.
11:16 a.m. Kay Woodcock is called as the state’s first witness.
11:10 a.m. Court is back in session. Boyce says some jurors have complained there is loud typing (a group of reporters with laptops) so the judge asks people to keep the noise down. John Thomas, Lori’s attorney, asks for a sidebar conference with the judge and prosecutors.
10:54 a.m. Recess about over. Larry Woodcock told me he and Lori made eye contact eight times during opening statements. Lori remained at her table during the break and took notes.
10:39 a.m. Archibald wraps up his opening statement. Boyce says we will take a recess.
10:37 a.m. Archibald says publicity has “tainted so many people throughout the state” and stresses media exposure is not evidence. He says if any of the jurors have heard anything, they need to set it aside and start the trial with a clean slate. “You’re here to focus on what she did – not on what Chad Daybell did or what Alex Cox did. You’re here to determine if there even was a conspiracy.”
10:36 a.m. Archibald says Lori Daybell was in her Rexburg apartment when JJ Vallow died in the apartment of Alex Cox and was with Melanie Gibb and David Warwick. Archibald says Lori was with Melanie Boudreaux in Hawaii when Tammy Daybell died. That is Lori’s alibi.
10:35 a.m. Archibald: “If after all the evidence or lack of evidence, you have a reasonable doubt, you must find her not guilty.”
10:33 a.m. Archibald says jurors need to be assured “beyond a reasonable doubt” and state has burden of proving the defendant guilty. Lori never has to prove her innocence but the state “must prove the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.”
10:32 a.m. Archibald to jury after reading indictment: “Did she kill or did she assist or did she encourage or did she command? They (prosecutors) aren’t sure what happened – but they want you to be sure.”
10:31 a.m. Archibald talks about Chad and Alex as co-conspirators but tells jurors their focus will be on Lori.
10:30 a.m. Archibald to jurors: “We haven’t been able to agree what happened to these children, how did they die, when they died. That’s where you come in.” Archibald tells jurors they don’t need to write down what he’s saying: “Some of you are really good note-takers but you don’t have to memorize what I’m telling you.”
10:28 a.m. Archibald: “The evidence will show Lori was a kind and loving mother. The evidence will show Lori had an interest in religion – especially the end of times. Some people could care less about biblical prophecies, some people care a lot about it. Thankfully in this country we get the freedom to choose.”
10:27 a.m. Archibald says Lori was such a responsible mother that Kay Woodcock wanted her to adopt JJ, a child with special needs, as JJ’s parents could not take care of him. Lori was married to Charles at the time. Charles and Lori agreed to adopt him.
10:26 a.m. Archibald now talking about who Lori is – where she was born, where she grew up, how many children she has and that people are drawn to Lori because of her personality and bright smile.
10:23 a.m. Archibald says 99% of cases are resolved before trial. He introduces his co-counsel, John Thomas, and Brandon Hobbs, an investigator. Archibald says being a defense lawyer is a hard job and mentions that eight years ago, his office was bombed. I covered that incident – you can read about it here.
10:21 a.m. Archibald stands at a lectern to address the jury rather than using the portable mic Blake used standing directly in front of jurors. Archibald begins by introducing himself. Says over the past 32 years, he has been assigned to 27 murder cases. “They are difficult cases. I was assigned to this case and I’m paid by the taxpayers so thank you for paying your taxes.”
10:20 a.m. Blake concludes her opening statements. Jim Archibald will be giving an opening statement for Lori’s team.
10:19 a.m. A photo is shown of JJ Vallow’s arm wrapped in duct tape after he died and Tammy Daybell’s hands after she died. Blake says those hands will never do anything again — then a photo is shown of Chad and Lori holding hands on the beach in Hawaii.
10:18 a.m. Blake says when you talk about first degree murder, the defendant personally didn’t have to end someone’s life to have committed the crime.
10:15 a.m. Blake: “The defendant is charged with multiple crimes” and then lists each charge. After saying Tylee Ryan’s name, Blake adds, “her daughter.” After saying JJ Vallow’s name, Blake adds, “her son.”
10:13 a.m. Blake says Tammy Daybell died “at the hands of another and died of asphyxiation,” according to Utah medical examiner. After Tammy died, Alex Cox said, “I hope I’m not their fall guy” (referring to Chad and Lori). Alex died the day after he said that.
10:12 a.m. Police got involved in the investigation for the missing kids in November 2019. Blake says when Lori spoke with Melanie Gibb after the kids were reported missing, Gibb asked Lori where JJ was. Lori responded, “I know exactly where he is.”
10:10 a.m. Lori now looking at Blake as she addresses the jury. Many jurors intently listening while others take notes. One has been writing nonstop since Blake started.
10:09 a.m. Blake talks about the malachite wedding rings that were ordered before Tammy died and how Chad and Lori exchanged those rings on the beach in Hawaii. More on that here.
10:07 a.m. Blake says after Tammy died, Lori met Chad’s kids and they were “all over each other.” Chad told his kids that Lori had a young daughter who recently died but there was no mention of JJ and Lori never said anything.
10:06 a.m. Kay Woodcock has been staring at Lori for at least three minutes straight.
10:03 a.m. Blake talking about the day a gunman approached Tammy Daybell in her driveway on Oct. 9, 2019. Originally thought to be a paintball gun. Blake says Lori was mad that night after incident — and said/texted someone, “He can’t do anything wrong” referring to Alex. More details on the driveway gun incident here
10:02 a.m. Blake: “The defendant told others because she was translated, she didn’t have to repent.” Blake says when Alex first moved to Rexburg, he texted Lori and set the wifi password to “too many kids.” Lori responded, “Funny.”
10:01 a.m. Cameras are not allowed in the courtroom but this a file photo of Lindsey Blake in a prior Daybell hearing.
10 a.m. Blake says we will hear from April Raymond, Lori’s friend, during the trial. “Defendant was telling people she was here on a religious mission to gather the 144,000 so she needed to spend her time and energy there.”
10 a.m. Blake says the defendant took no action when Tylee and JJ disappeared. “What you won’t hear when JJ went missing is that the defendant did anything to find him.”
9:58 a.m. Blake: “Alex’s purpose was to protect Lori. He was a warrior and that was his job.”
9:57 a.m. Blake now talking about Alex Cox and how Alex would do anything for Lori. He moved to Rexburg to be closer to Chad. Alex quit his job – “If Chad and Lori asked it, Alex did it.”
9:56 a.m. Blake: “The defendant used ‘casting’ that involved prayer and energy work. Often this casting didn’t work and the beliefs evolved to zombies. A common theme was the body had to be destroyed.”
9:55 a.m. Blake: “You will hear about a rating system of light and dark. The defendant told others that with the help of Chad, she could rate people as light and dark. Pretty soon this system evolved.” Lori does not appear to look at jury or prosecutors at all – she is looking down.
9:54 a.m. Blake tells jurors they will hear about Chad and Lori’s religious beliefs – that Chad and Lori called themselves “James and Elaina” and believed they were religious figures. “At the time they met, they were both married to other people. Their spouses were both alive and well when they first met. Remember – the defendant will remove any obstacle in her way to get what she wants – and she wanted Chad Daybell.”
9:52 a.m. Blake describes financial transactions that occurred with money being moved from accounts. “This case actually starts in October 2018. That’s when the defendant met Chad Daybell for the very first time.” Blake says jury will hear from Melanie Gibb and Zulema Pastenas during the trial – two of Lori’s friends who were there when Lori and Chad met for the first time.
9:50 a.m. Blake show an autopsy photo of Tammy Daybell as she says Lori and Chad are in Hawaii getting married. “The missing children, the sudden death of Tammy, teh quick marriage of Chad and the defendant left so many questions for those still grieving the loss of Tammy and those still wondering 24/7 about the whereabouts of the children.”
9:49 a.m. Blake describes how JJ was found and on the screen appears a black plastic bag wrapped in plastic and a cut in the bag. Larry Woodcock is wiping away tears and he is distributing tissues to family members. Kay Woodcock is crying.
9:47 a.m. Blake describes how Tylee’s remains were found. “You will hear it described as a mass of bone and tissue. That’s what was left of this beautiful young woman. The defendant’s daughter. Her DNA was found on a pick ax and shovel later located on a shed on Chad’s property.” A picture on the screen shows Tylee’s remains – pieces of flesh and bones.
9:47 a.m. Blake: “Tammy had a life insurance policy. Lori wanted Chad all to herself. Tammy’s gone.”
9:45 a.m. Blake: “JJ took time and he also lost his father. When he lost his father, he became much more difficult to care for. He was entitled to social security benefits. The defendant didn’t want to have to take care of JJ anymore, he had money, JJ’s gone.”
9:45 a.m. Blake: “Tylee had money, Lori wanted it, Tylee’s gone.”
9:44 a.m. Blake: “The defendant used money, power, and sex to get what she wanted. It didn’t matter what it was.”
9:43 a.m. Fremont County Lindsey Blake will be giving opening statements on behalf of the state. She moves to a lectern in the courtroom and has a presentation she will be presented. “Money, power, and sex — that’s what this case is about.”
9:39 a.m. I see two female jurors and two male jurors taking notes as the clerk reads the indictment. There are 18 jurors here – 12 will serve on the jury and six will be alternates. They do not know (and neither do we) who the alternates are until the judge informs them before deliberations.
9:37 a.m. Daybell looks down as clerk reads charges. You can read the indictment here.
9:36 a.m. Clerk now reading the indictment against Lori Vallow Daybell along with her not guilty plea.
9:34 a.m. Personal note here: I am typing very fast and realize there will be typos. I’ll try to catch them before I publish, but please forgive any errors.
9:32 a.m. Boyce tells jurors if they take notes, rely on their own memory and don’t rely on the notes of other jurors. When they go home for the night, they will leave their notebooks at the courthouse.
9:30 a.m. One juror, a man who appears to be in his 40s, is taking detailed notes as Boyce speaks. The rest look at him and listen. Boyce tells them not to speculate and stick only to what is presented in court.
9:28 a.m. Boyce giving jurors detailed instructions. Kay and Larry are holding hands and glance back and forth between looking at Lori and looking at the judge.
9:24 a.m. Boyce tells jurors they will be paid $10 a day based on Idaho law – jokingly says, “We encourage you not to spend that all in one place.”
9:22 a.m. Boyce says the trial will be held daily from 8:30-3:30 with a lunch break. Breaks will also be held in the morning and afternoon. Jurors will sit in their same assigned seat every day and Boyce encourages them to be punctual.
9:20 a.m. Judge tells jurors not to look up any information on the and do not speak with anyone about it. Clerk now swearing in the jurors and putting them under oath. They all stand and raise their right hand while receiving the oath.
9:18 a.m. Judge reading jury instructions including Lori Daybell’s charges. Lori is looking at the judge as he reads the charges and glances over at the jurors before looking down.
9:15 a.m. Youngest juror appears to be in her 20s – a woman. Oldest appears to be in her 60s or 70s – also a woman. This is just a guess. Most appear to be in their 40s.
9:14 a.m. Ten men and eight women are on the jury. They walk in with notebooks and water bottles are placed at each of their work areas. There are sitting in two rows and on each row, there are monitors spaced out between them so they can view evidence.
9:12 a.m. Defense and prosecution say they are ready to proceed with the case. Boyce asks for jurors to be brought into the courtroom.
9:10 a.m. Boyce is explaining the courtroom conduct order that is in effect for the courtroom and overflow rooms. Emphasizes that no re-entry is allowed if people leave the main courtroom. Breaks will be scheduled in the morning and afternoon along with lunch.
9:07 a.m. Judge Steven Boyce has entered the courtroom. The jury will sit on the right side of the courtroom, the defense team faces them on the left side of the courtroom. The table for Fremont County Prosecuting Attorney Lindsey Blake, Madison County Prosecuting Attorney Rob Wood and prosecuting attorney Rachel Smith faces the judge.
9:04 a.m. Fremont County Sheriff Len Humphries is here along with several Rexburg police detectives. John Prior, Chad Daybell’s attorney, is also in the courtroom.
9:02 a.m. We are in the courtroom. Every seat will be filled. Lori is wearing a cream blouse with a dark sweater jacket and black-rimmed glasses. She is sitting between her attorneys and is actively chatting with them.
8:35 a.m. Proceedings were supposed to begin at 8:30 a.m. Not sure why there are delays this morning. Once things get moving, jurors will be sworn in and prosecutors will begin with opening arguments.
8:30 a.m. We are waiting in line to get into the courtroom where every seat will be full. Larry and Kay Woodcock along with several extended family members have just entered the courtroom. Annie Cushing is also here.