LIVE UPDATES FROM THE LORI VALLOW DAYBELL TRIAL
1:28 p.m. Here is a sketch from today of Det. Ray Hermosillo being cross-examined by John Thomas.
11:26 a.m. Here is a statement from the prosecution team: “There has been a death in the family of one of the prosecutor’s lead attorneys. The Court and defense have been gracious in allowing the prosecution to adjust to this personal situation.”
10:43 a.m. Recess is over, court is back in session. Prosecution says due to unforeseen circumstances, they have requested to dismiss for the day. Defense does not object. Trial will continue tomorrow.
10:11 a.m. Powell says he was not involved in the investigation of the paintball shooting incident of Tammy Daybell. Powell says he is not aware of where Lori Vallow was on the day Tammy died. Thomas asks if Powell would be surprised to know Lori was in Hawaii. Powell says no. Thomas has no further questions and we are taking a morning recess.
10:10 a.m. Powell says he couldn’t overhear the conversation Lori and Chad were having at Cafe Rio. He sat a table away from them and it was not very busy.
10:09 a.m. Powell was with his Chief Deputy and two detectives from Rexburg Police during the surveillance operation. They all took separate vehicles and the other officers took different photos of Chad and Lori.
10:06 a.m. Powell says he surveilled Lori and Chad just the one time. He followed them from Madison County at the apartment complex to Idaho Falls.
10:04 a.m. Thomas asks Powell some questions to clarify his law enforcement background. Thomas also asks about the photos taken of Chad and Lori at Cafe Rio and Hobby Lobby in Idaho Falls.
10:03 a.m. Rawlings has no further questions. Thomas will now cross-examine Powell.
10:01 a.m. Jurors now see the autopsy photo of Tammy Daybell’s body.
9:58 a.m. State admits a photo showing Tammy Daybell’s grave and backhoe. Other photos show the vault, the gravesite and the casket being loaded into a vehicle to head to the medical examiner’s office.
9:55 a.m. Powell says Tammy had no signs of high blood pressure or other health issues and the fact her husband was with another lady so soon led police to exhume her body. Police got a court order and it was performed at a Springville Utah cemetery.
9:52 a.m. Powell reviewed Tammy’s medical records and got a warrant for her prescription medications from Walmart. Powell says she had prescriptions for Fluoxetine and Tramadol.
9:51 a.m. Powell explains how he helped conduct a search warrant on Alex Cox’s townhome and helped with the exhumation of Tammy’s body.
9:50 a.m. Powell says an investigation was eventually conducted into Tammy Daybell’s death because she was young and in good health.
9:49 a.m. Next photo shows Chad and Lori walking into Hobby Lobby holding hands on Nov. 1, 2019.
9:49 a.m. Rawlings admits a photo of Chad and Lori at Cafe Rio on Nov. 1, 2019. Powell took the picture and says they were in conversation while eating.
9:45 a.m. Powell shares that Gilbert police spoke to him about the Jeep and the connection to an attempted murder. Powell conducted surveillance on Chad and Lori at a few different locations.
9:43 a.m. Powell learned of Tammy Daybell’s death on Oct. 19, 2019. Gilbert police contacted the department on Oct. 31, 2019 and Powell was asked about Daybell’s death. Gilbert said they had an attempted murder in Arizona.
9:42 a.m. Powell has been a lieutenant for six years. He oversees patrols, detectives, schedule, looks at reports and assist with everyone on staff. He previously worked as a detective for 4.5 years.
9:42 a.m. Powell is sworn in and will be questioned by Rawlings.
9:37 a.m. State has no further questions for Willmore and defense has no question. He is dismissed from the stand and Lt. Joe Powell with the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office is called to the stand.
9:35 a.m. Lori asks Chad what he wants her to do. He says, “pray.” She says, “What can I do for you?” He says she should call Mark “maybe” and talk with him. Chad says he did call him and Mark knows what they are doing. Chad gets a calling from someone else and says, “I love you so much.” She says, “I love you” and asks if she should try to call him later. He says, “I don’t know. I’ll answer if I can. I love you and I’ll talk soon.”
9:33 a.m. Lori begins by saying, “Hi, babe” and asks if Chad is ok. He says, “They’re searching the property so Mark Means will be talking to you.” Lori responds, “Ok. What, are they in the house?” Chad says, “No, they’re out on the property.” Lori asks if they are seizing stuff. Chad says, “No, they’re searching.” As this call is being played, Lori lools at the screen.
9:32 a.m. The call between Chad and Lori was made on the day police were searching Chad’s property. Rammell now asks to play the phone call.
9:30 a.m. Next piece of evidence is a thumb drive containing a video visit between Colby Ryan and Lori on Aug. 3, 2020. This was not played in court (at least right now).
9:29 a.m. Next piece of evidence is a thumb drive containing a digital video visit between Summer Shiflet, Lori’s sister, and Lori on June 24, 2020. This was not played in court (at least right now).
9:26 a.m. First piece of evidence is a USB drive containing a phone call between Chad and Lori on June 9, 2020. The call was originally played at Chad Daybell’s preliminary hearing in Aug. 2020. You can listen to it here.
9:25 a.m. Willmore says every time a phone or video call comes in, a timestamp is made. Rammell moves to admit three pieces of evidence.
9:23 a.m. Willmore can access the information with a username and password. He can review any video visits or phone call of any inmate in custody. Willmore cannot edit or make changes to any of the information. The Telmate systems are located in the pods where the inmates can use them.
9:22 a.m. Willmore says each inmate has a unique PIN number assigned to them when they use the Telmate system. They can communicate with others using video, text or audio. Anything on the Telmate system is recorded with the exception of attorney communications, Willmore says.
9:20 a.m. Willmore has worked for the Madison County Sheriff’s Office for 20 years. He is the captain over the Madison County Jail and oversees the Telmate phone system used for inmates to communicate with family and friends.
9:18 a.m. Thomas has no further questions. Next witness called by the state is Lt. Jared Willmore of the Madison County Sheriff’s Office. Spencer Rammell will question Willmore.
9:17 a.m. Thomas asks if there is evidence of an attempted homicide on Tammy Daybell on Oct. 9, 2919. Hermosillo says they believe it was an attempted homicide.
9:16 a.m. Wood has no further questions. Thomas asks if he can re-cross Hermosillo.
9:15 a.m. Hermosillo says there is no evidence to suggest JJ was alive after Sept. 22/23, 2019. He says there is no evidence to suggest Tylee was alive after Sept. 8/9, 2019.
9:14 a.m. Hermosillo says none of the tips police received from the public aided in finding JJ and Tylee.
9:13 a.m. Hermosillo says the warrant was served at Chad’s house between 8-8:30 a.m. on the morning of June 9, 2020.
9:11 a.m. Hermosillo explains the process of sifting through the dirt at the firepit. He says the FBI brought a sifter with them so they would scoop up dirt and solid objects (teeth, bone) found in the sifter would be laid out on the blue tarp. Photos would be taken, it would be logged into evidence and then police would go back to sifting.
9:10 a.m. Hermosillo explains how the police department handled tips received on the missing kids and says all of them were followed up on.
9:06 a.m. Wood now asking about Melanie Gibb. Recalls Lori telling police that JJ was with Melanie Gibb watching ‘Frozen 2’ and that’s why Melanie was not answering her phone. Police eventually reached Melanie and she said she did not have JJ. I interviewed Melanie a few weeks before the kids were found. Video:
9:05 a.m. Hermosillo recalls the events of the day they first went to Lori’s apartment on the welfare check. He says they knocked on three doors at the apartment complex – Lori, Alex and Melani – and nobody was there. He and Det. Hope drove to the prosecutors office to try and get a warrant but they made contact with Lori and she was told to open the front door because detectives wanted to speak with her.
9:02 a.m. Lori is looking back and forth between Wood and Hermosillo as questions are asked. She also looks down at the notes her attorneys are taking during questioning.
9 a.m. Rob Wood is now asking Hermosillo questions on re-direct. He asks the detective if he knows if the weapons found at the house belonged to Lori. Hermosillo says he did not know. “It was extremely suspicious to have those guns along with everything else we located. We took photographs and took teh guns out of the residence because when we went inside the residence, the door was broken and unable to lock. We held on to the weapons for safety.”
9 a.m. Thomas asks Hermosillo if any trace evidence was collected from JJ’s autopsy. The detective says they stood in the back and was not directly involved in the autopsy as the medical team was doing it. Hermosillo says he did not ever personally take trace evidence off JJ’s body. Thomas has no further questions.
8:58 a.m. Thomas asks Hermosillo if photos were taken of their searches at Daybell’s property. The detective says yes.
8:56 a.m. Boards were found on top of JJ’s body. Hermosillo said similar-style boards were found in Chad Daybell’s garage area but they were never able to find the identical, matching boards.
8:54 a.m. Hermosillo says when they arrived at the Ada County Coroner’s Office it was after hours. They met an employee who took custody of the remains of JJ and Tylee.
8:52 a.m. Thomas asking where Tylee’s teeth and bones were found in relation to the firepit. Hermosillo says he does not recall and he was not the actual person who recovered them.
8:49 a.m. Hermosillo says they began digging early on June 9 and had everything out of the ground by the afternoon of June 10.
8:47 a.m. John Thomas continues cross-examination of Det. Hermosillo. He’s asking which detectives and officers were helping dig at the fire pit.
8:46 a.m. The jury has been brought in and are seated.
8:40 a.m. Judge Boyce is on the bench. Due to some unforeseen circumstances, the state has requested some modifications to the trial schedule. The state would like to end early today and not hold the trial on Monday. I’m told Lindsey Blake had a death in the family and this is likely why there is a modification to schedule.
8:37 a.m. John Prior, Chad Daybell’s attorney, just walked in the courtroom. He is casually dressed in a t-shirt and is watching from the audience gallery. I’m told Chad is not watching the trial from the Fremont County Jail.
8:35 a.m. Lawyers have entered the courtroom. Fremont County Prosecuting Attorney Lindsey Blake is not here today. Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Tawyna Rawlings is sitting at the table along with Madison County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Spencer Rammell.
8:33 a.m. Larry and Kay Woodcock are in the courtroom with extended family members. Annie Cushing is also here with her daughter and some friends. The attorneys from both defense and prosecution are meeting outside of the courtroom. Jury has not been brought in yet.
8:28 a.m. We have posted all of the audio from yesterday. You can listen here.
8:25 a.m. Back in court this morning. Sitting on the left side of the courtroom directly behind Lori. She is wearing black pants, a black jacket and black boots. She is smiling and chatting with her attorneys. Det. Ray Hermosillo is back on the stand this morning for cross-examination.