LIVE UPDATES | Day 10 of the Chad Daybell trial; Fremont County coroner, co-workers of Tammy Daybell, detective take the stand - East Idaho News
Daybell Case

LIVE UPDATES | Day 10 of the Chad Daybell trial; Fremont County coroner, co-workers of Tammy Daybell, detective take the stand

  Published at  | Updated at



Please excuse any typos — these updates are live.

4:22 p.m. Thank you for bearing with me today! Reporter Kalama Hines will be taking over tomorrow.

4:21 p.m. Boyce will rule on the motions tomorrow morning at 8:30 a.m. Jurors will be brought in at 9 a.m. Court is done for the day.

4:19 p.m. Prior said it is hearsay, and the timing of it all is suspect.

4:15 p.m. Other motion in limine being discussed in regards to witness Janet Anderson that allege statements about Tammy Daybell as “a zombie.” Wixom tells the court that these motions are all about two witnesses with two statements, and they are trying to enter the testimony in court. Wixom wants it to be admitted into trial.

4:13 p.m. Boyce will get an oral ruling on motion at 8:30 a.m. tomorrow.

4:11 p.m. Lots of legal talk right now.

4:04 p.m. Prior and Wood discussing back and forth about life insurance. Lots of “hearsay” issues.

3:51 p.m. There is a motion in limine that relates to a proposed statement made by Janice Olson regarding Tammy Daybell’s life insurance. Another motion “in limine” is in regards to Janet Anderson that allege statements about Tammy Daybell as “a zombie.”

3:44 p.m. Prosecutor Rob Wood addressing the court. He is asking Kay Woodcock (JJ Vallow’s grandmother and Charles Vallow’s sister, who is a designated victim in this case and can give an impact statement) to be able to stand in for Charles Vallow during the trial. Annie Cushing would be in place for Tylee Ryan. (Cushing is her aunt.) No objections.

3:42 p.m. Boyce came back after a 20 minute break. Motions are going to be discussed. Two motions from the state. One is a notice from the court about designation of victims.

3:20 p.m.Court has finished for the day, and the jury has been excused. Detective Kaaiakamanu was not finished on the stand and should be back tomorrow. Boyce is talking about motions that will be discussed in regard to designating victims in the case. He wants to take a break and come back in 20 minutes. The motions will be streamed live for the public he says.

3:18 p.m. Boyce said there are some motions he is a part of tomorrow. He wants to start court at 9 a.m. tomorrow. Next week, court won’t happen on Tuesday, April 30.

3:18 p.m.Blake would like to show an exhibit but it is not working. Boyce is concluding evidence for the day.

3:13 p.m.Blake now asking about Alex Cox again.

3:08 p.m. Blake is asking Kaaiakamanu about paintball guns and what he knows about them.

3:06 p.m. Blake is asking about a firearm that was seized. It appears it could have been what was used during the “paintball incident.”

3:05 p.m.Blake asking Kaaiakamanu about Alex Cox now. Prior and Daybell are chatting on the side.

3:00 p.m. Another 911 call is being listened to. This is the one from Tammy Daybell from Oct. 9, 2019. Tammy describes that someone was dressed in black and had a mask. She said he had a paintball gun. She yelled for her husband Chad.

2:57 p.m. Court is playing the 911 call from the paintball gun incident back on Oct. 9, 2019. The call was made by Tammy Daybell’s son-in-law. Click here to listen.

2:54 p.m. “My main focus was Tammy,” Kaaiakamanu says about when he was involved in the investigation. He did assist with locating and helping JJ and Tylee too. Blake asked him about Oct. 9, 2019. The nature of the call had to due with a suspicious event. It involved a “gun or paintball gun being pointed at someone.”

2:52 p.m. No investigation was opened at that time after the unattended death. An investigation was later opened for Tammy Daybell. Kaaiakamanu was involved in Tammy Daybell’s case in March 2020.

2:51 p.m. During that time, he did not learn of anything suspicious from the unattended death, which was Tammy Daybell.

2:48 p.m. Kaaiakamanu had talked with Officer Greenhalgh on an unattended death. He could not go to the call in 2019 because he was helping Idaho Falls Police Department with an officer-involved shooting.

2:45 p.m. Detective Vince Kaaiakamanu has been called to the stand. He was a detective at the time of the case. He was with Fremont County Sheriff’s Office. He is currently with the Madison County Sheriff’s Office.

2:45 p.m. Blake is done. Mattingly might be recalled to the stand but for now he is finished and remains subpoenaed.

2:40 p.m. Blake is asking if any of Chad’s children voluntarily come forward with information. Mattingly: “Not one.” Emma was not willing to speak to Mattingly and did not provide any information on her mother’s health, he says.

2:39 p.m. Prior is done. Blake back on the podium.

2:37 p.m. There was a Fitbit competition that Tammy Daybell was a part of. Mattingly learned that Tammy was a competitive person.

2:37 p.m.Prior is questioning Mattingly about the Fitbit. It is not clear if Tammy Daybell was the one that was wearing it the entire time.

2:33 p.m. Prior is going through the day that Tammy Daybell died. Also discussing life insurance.

2:32 p.m.Chad appears to be intently listening to what is happening.

2:28 p.m. Prior is talking about Tammy Daybell’s health history like her anemia.

2:23 p.m.Joe (or Joseph) Murray refused to talk too, Mattingly said. Joe Murray is married to Emma.

2:21 p.m.I have referenced Emma a few times as Emma Daybell. She is Emma Murray. But she is Chad and Tammy’s daughter.

2:20 p.m. Prior is asking Mattingly about how he mentioned talking about Emma Daybell and how Mattingly tried to talk to her. He is asking dates and times.

2:18 p.m. Total life insurance: on the Primerica there was $300,000 and LifeMap was $130,000. Mattingly learned that both had been paid out to Chad Daybell. Blake done questioning. Prior now at podium.

2:16 p.m.Blake hands Detective Mattingly an exhibit. He is looking through the pages. Meanwhile, Chad Daybell is talking with his attorney John Prior and they appear to be looking at his screen.

2:13 p.m.“I found that she was very active…. and a go getter,” Mattingly says of Tammy Daybell. He didn’t get any indication that she was slowing down.

2:11 p.m.Out of all the months, Tammy was generally above average, or she was close when it came to her step count on her Fitbit. Mattingly did not see anything where she was “severely slowing down.” Mattingly researched that 10,000 steps is normal to have per day.

2:09 p.m.They were provided the step counts from day to day and year to year, Mattingly says in regards to Tammy Daybell’s Fitbit.

2:08 p.m.Mattingly says they were not able to get heart rate information from Tammy’s Fitbit. The sleep data were very sparse, Mattingly said.

2:06 p.m. I cannot see the exhibit on the screen in the livestream. It’s very difficult to see the details, but essentially Fitbit information is being discussed.

2:03 p.m.Blake is back on the podium. She is putting an exhibit on the screen in regards to Fitbit information. Mattingly is discussing the Fitbit account for Tammy Daybell.

2:02 p.m. Court is back in session.

1:55 p.m. Court is still in break. Appears there are still issues with monitors for the jury.

1:37 p.m. There will be a quick break as court figures out the monitor situation for the jurors since another exhibit will have to be on the screen.

1:35 p.m. “We were looking for heart rate, sleep patterns … and their activity,” Mattingly says of the search warrant to Fitbit.

1:32 p.m./>A Fitbit was on Tammy’s side of the bed, and Mattingly said they requested a search warrant from Fitbit to look into her health.

1:31 p.m. Chad Daybell filled out this form. He wrote October 18, 2019 — the day before Tammy died. Chad said her health started to have changes.

1:30 p.m. A monitor is not working in the jury pool. None of the jury can see what’s happening on their screens. Court is going to try and fix it.

1:28 p.m. Sidebar is over. The exhibit is on a projector screen. It appears to be a life insurance policy. This is very hard to see on the live feed.

1:27 p.m. There was an exhibit up on the screen and it has been taken down. Now there is sidebar.

1:24 p.m. I learned Tammy had two life insurance policies, Mattingly says.

1:22 p.m. Mattingly is being asked about reviewing reports from Tammy Daybell the day she died. Emma Daybell had said her mom had been slowing down, according to reports. Emma was unwilling to speak to Mattingly, he says. Mattingly made attempts to talk to her.

1:21 p.m. Tammy was reported by Chad to faint and slow down, and being dizzy.

1:19 p.m. Blake is asking Mattingly about Tammy Daybell’s medical records. She is asking if there was any indication of health issues. Mattingly says there were general health issues. She had been prescribed medication for wrist pain and medication for managing depression.

1:17 p.m. He learned that Rexburg Police Department and FBI were looking for JJ and Tylee. In Arizona, they were investigating the shooting of Boudreaux and the Charles Vallow incident.

1:15 p.m. There was not an investigation during the time of Tammy’s death until later in 2019.

1:12 p.m. He had learned that Tammy Daybell was the unattended death. He is describing talking to an officer about what the scene looked like. He was talking on the phone to Deputy Greenhalgh. He also said law enforcement is not the one who determines whether to have a autopsy. The coroner makes that decision.

1:11 p.m. Fremont County Prosecuting Attorney Lindsey Blake is questioning Mattingly on his background. She is asking him about an unattended death call on Oct. 19, 2019. This is in reference to Tammy Daybell.

1:08 p.m. The state is calling a new witness. Detective Bruce Mattingly with the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office

1:08 p.m. Chad Daybell and his Attorney John Prior appear to be chatting/whispering to each other a lot today.

1:06 p.m.Court is back in session after lunch break. The jury is being brought it.

11:48 a.m. There is going to be a break. The next witness will be lengthy, so the break is happening earlier. We will be back at 1 p.m.

11:47 a.m. Prior asks clarification. Tammy and her daughter did the high fit class. It was not Zumba. Geisler released from subpoena.

11:46 a.m. Geisler made a comment to Tammy during lunch saying that she wished she ate as healthy as her.

11:45 a.m. Prior done asking questions. Wixom back on. There is a clarification between a high-fit class and Zumba class. High fit is more intense. Zumba is a little more dancy.

11:43 a.m. Geisler said her and Tammy were good school friends. She never went to Tammy’s home.

11:42 a.m. Wixom done asking questions. Prior takes the stand.

11:41 a.m. The Friday before she died, she ate lunch with Tammy. She was healthy, happy, talkative. She was sitting by her son Seth. It was just a normal day, Geisler said. She was super surprised that Tammy passed away due to her being super healthy.

11:39 a.m. Geisler was in the front row, and Tammy and Emma were in the back row. They were always giggling and adding their own moves. Tammy loved the class, Geisler said. She said that Tammy kept up with the class. She does not recall Tammy ever taking breaks.

11:39 a.m. “We were good friends,” Geisler said of Tammy. Always bubbly and happy. She was a person that you wanted to be around. Geisler invited Tammy and Emma to a high-fitness class.

11:36 a.m. Jennifer Geisler called to the stand. Wixom questioning. She works at Central Elementary school. First-grade teacher. She has worked there for 26 years. She worked with Tammy Daybell in 2019 and says Tammy was the librarian. She would see Tammy every day.

11:33 a.m. Miller says Tammy had the stamina to complete workouts. Prior is done. Miller is released from subpoena.

11:31 a.m. Miller said Daybell was attending the high-intensity classes for at least a year and a half.

11:29 a.m. Miller believes Tammy Daybell started working at the school in Sugar City in 2018.

11:27 a.m. “I would say the time she started the fitness class, her overall image of herself had improved. It looked like she was in great health to me,” Miller said. She was in complete shock learning about Tammy’s death. Hours before that, she had seen her at work, and Tammy was happy, healthy and conversing with kids at work. “She seemed perfectly healthy to me,” Miller said.

11:26 a.m. Miller would see Tammy every day at work.

11:26 a.m. Miller said at first Tammy and her daughter could not complete the workouts correctly but over time did well.

11:24 a.m. Miller is talking about how Tammy and her daughter attended the fitness class.

11:22 a.m. Wixom asking questions to Miller. She was a school teacher at Central Elementary in Sugar City for over 30 years. She worked with Tammy Daybell. Miller was on the committee to interview Tammy for a position at the school. She also attended a high-fitness class with Tammy.

11:21 a.m. Shanna Miller now has been called to the stand.

11:20 a.m. Harris is done testifying. She is released from subpoena.

11:19 a.m. Wixom now back asking questions.

11:17 a.m. Harris saw Emma Daybell in the high-intensity class with Tammy. Emma was also in the clogging class that Harris taught.

11:16 a.m. Harris: “I would say she was a very fit woman (talking about Tammy).”

11:16 a.m. There were at least five classes that Tammy attended for clogging before she died.

11:14 a.m.Harris talked to her regularly in these classes. Wixom done questioning Harris. Prior now asking questions.

11:14 a.m Harris went to a high fitness class in St. Anthony. She stood by Tammy in the class. It’s a high-intensity class, burpees and explosive movements. That class was held two times a week for 60 minutes. Tammy went in late September 2019. Harris said she observed Tammy keeping up in class and was doing the high-intensity moves.

11:11 a.m. Harris doesn’t recall any issues with Tammy getting tired or falling behind in the clogging class that she taught.

11:10 a.m.Harris said Daybell came to her class in early August and September in 2019. Every week a 60-minute class, once a week.

11:08 a.m. Wixom questions Harris, asking her about Tammy Daybell. She said Daybell was a clogging student of hers in Sugar City and worked as a librarian. She would see her all the time. “We were friends,” Harris said. “We would have conversations more than a hello.”

11:07 a.m. Kelsie Harris has been called as the next witness.

11:06 a.m. Boyce says that concludes the testimony of Dye.

11:05 a.m. Wixom sits down. Prior back on the stand asking questions to Dye.

11:03 a.m. Wixom talking about the scene again when Tammy Daybell was found dead.

10:58 a.m. Dye amended Tammy’s death certificate later due to the results of the autopsy and learning two dead children were at the same home: JJ and Tylee.

10:57 a.m. Dye mostly talked to Chad and Emma on the scene. Did not talk to Garth very much. Garth would mainly nod to questions.

10:56 a.m. Dye recalls looking for medical history and medications and looked in the bedroom and the nightstand drawers for anything suspicious in the Daybell home. Dye was there with deputy coroner and an officer.

10:54 a.m.Prior off the stand. Wixom is back on the stand to question Dye.

10:54 a.m.Tammy Daybell’s autopsy was done in Utah. Click here for more information.

10:49 a.m. Prior: “At the time of digging her (Tammy) up, were you looking for something?” Dye: “Suspicious activity and anything that resulted in homicide.” This was after talking to police.

10:48 a.m. Prior talking about how FBI was involved with an order to remove Tammy’s body from the ground after she was buried.

10:47 a.m. Prior says Emma talked about how her mother Tammy was taking clogging classes but couldn’t keep up. Prior brings up the temple and that Tammy fainted. There were other instances listed in a report. Prior: “You made a determination that there was a medical reason as to how she passed away. But it all changed right?” Dye says yes.

10:44 a.m. Prior: “You were told that Tammy would have minor fits consistent with seizures, correct?” Dye says yes.

10:41 a.m. Prior is listing the different medications that Tammy Daybell took and confirming them with Dye.

10:38 a.m. Prior: “Did you talk to Garth about how he bought her (Tammy) a Quarter Pounder and french fries?” Dye: “No. I did not identify what was in her stomach. There were contents in her stomach.” Prior: “We don’t know if Tammy threw up or not before she died right? Other than what Chad told you?” Dye says yes.

10:37 a.m. Prior is asking Dye about the old bruises and foam coming from Tammy’s mouth. He is also talking about how Dye issued her death certificate.

10:35 a.m. Prior is asking Dye about “old bruises” in the picture of Tammy Daybell’s arm and asking if those are it in the picture, and Dye is responding and saying yes.

10:34 a.m. Photo of Tammy’s right arm showing some discoloration is being admitted for an exhibit. Judge Boyce will not publish to the public due to its graphic nature.

10:30 a.m. “Blood-tinged (?) foam” is also written on the body chart for Tammy Daybell. Old bruising was also written. Prior: “You didn’t put ‘new bruising’ did you?” Dye: “No.”

10:28 a.m. Lividity was found on Tammy’s entire body according to the body chart, Prior asks and Dye says yes.

10:28 a.m.Prior is putting a body chart up on the projector screen so everyone can see it. It’s a little difficult on my end to see.

10:22 a.m.Prior continues questioning Fremont County Coroner Brenda Dye, asking her what she did at the scene when she responded to Tammy Daybell’s body back in October 2019.

10:21 a.m. Court is back in session.

9:46 a.m. After the sidebar. Judge Boyce says, “We need to get an exhibit prepared. We will take a mid morning recess. We will take a 30 minute break. Come back at 10:15 a.m.”

9:45 a.m. The sidebar is still taking place. Chad Daybell appears to be reading through some notes at the table that he is sitting at.

9:39 a.m. Sidebar taking place right now with Judge Boyce and attorneys.

9:38 a.m. Brenda Dye is reviewing a police report that was from the day they responded to the Daybell home when Tammy was found dead. Prior asks Judge Boyce for a sidebar. Boyce asks to wait.

brenda dye pic final
Fremont County Coroner Brenda Dye. |

9:34 a.m. “Emma (Daybell) stated she didn’t want an autopsy done because she didn’t want her mother to be treated that way?” Prior asks, and Dye says yes.

9:31 a.m. Prior asks Dye about responding to the scene of Tammy Daybell when she was found dead.

9:29 a.m. He is asking Dye questions about Tammy’s bruises. Dye used the word “old bruises” in her report. Dye answers yes.

9:25 a.m. Prior is questioning Dye on legal statutes right now.

9:21 a.m. Chad is watching questioning intently. He has his arms crossed on the table and is leaning forward.

9:18 a.m. John Prior — Chad’s attorney — is now at the stand for cross examination of Dye. Wixom is done asking Dye questions.

9:16 a.m. Wixom asks if Dye had any regrets. Dye says she has regrets from her original decision. “Had I known that information, I would have ordered an autopsy. At that time, with my limited training and being new, I did the best I could with the training I had at that time.”

9:15 a.m. Dye: “I received a call from Arizona police. They wanted my records. Chad’s name was brought up. Lori Vallow, Alex Cox, Chad Daybell’s (names were brought up).”

9:12 a.m. Dye is talking about Tammy’s autopsy: As they were dissecting the bruise, there was a very deep bruise on her arm. It didn’t make sense she had thrown up the night before because she had stomach contents. Her stomach was full of food. If she threw up, there wouldn’t be food in her stomach during the autopsy, Dye says. “I am the one who signs the death certificate that makes that determination. All of her organs were healthy. The only organ that was not healthy was her lungs. There was a lot of foam in her lungs.”

9:11 a.m. She has made amendments to Tammy’s death certificate … like homicide. Tammy’s body was exhumed. There was an autopsy done. Click here to view what the autopsy had shown.

9:08 a.m. Dye determined Tammy’s death was pulmonary edema: the back up of fluid in the lungs — a “cardiac event.”

9:05 a.m. We previously did a background story on Brenda Dye. Click here.

9:03 a.m. At about 12:30 a.m., Tammy was having a coughing fit. This is talking about the previous night, Dye said. Tammy reportedly threw up.

9:02 a.m. Chad said Tammy had been feeling really off for the past few months, Dye says. She felt outside of her body — “not normal”
— and she had been having fainting spells and one occasion they were at the alter at the temple, and Tammy fainted. She had low blood pressure but didn’t seek medical attention, and she didn’t like going to the doctor and she treated everything naturally. There was a natural remedy book in the side table in her bedroom.

9 a.m. Chad said to Dye that he felt her body roll off the bed, and that’s what woke him up. “I asked him how it was possible because she was really cold,” Dye says. He thinks it was because he pulled on the sheets, and Tammy was going through menopause, and she liked to sleep with her feet out of the bed.

8:58 a.m. Dye looks to see if there was signs of struggle. She saw rigor mortis and lividity. Dye said Tammy was cold to the touch. Dye learned Tammy died on her back.

8:57 a.m. “I observed the blood coming from her mouth, kind of a pink foam. She was wrapped in a blanket. I asked if that was the position she was found, and Chad said no,” Dye says. She was hanging off of the bed, Chad told her. When he discovered that she was dead, they called Garth and picked her up off the floor.

8:56 a.m. “I am holding a picture of Tammy deceased on the bed,” Dye says. She was handed an exhibit.

8:54 a.m. “After I looked at the body, I questioned Chad about Tammy’s past health history,” Dye says.

8:52 a.m. Dye called her deputy coroner to come. It took Dye 45 minutes to get to the scene of Daybell’s home. The deceased’s husband was very distraught and crying, Dye says. “I observed Chad, the husband, very upset and distraught. Garth (Chad’s son), was emotionless to me,” Dye says. This is when Tammy Daybell died, and Dye responded. Note: Tammy Daybell died Oct. 19, 2019, according to her obituary.

8:51 a.m. Dye is being asked if she knew any of the Daybells, and she says no. She received a call from dispatch that there was an unattended death that she needed to respond to. She received the call early morning. This is back in 2019.

8:50 a.m. “How do you know what lividity means?” Wixom is asking. Dye: “It’s the lowest point of the body of the blood pools when somebody is no longer living. … It looks like a bruise.” It helps Dye know how the body was found and the position of the body at the time of death. It’s important to know if the body was moved. That’s the most important, Dye said. Rigor mortis is stiffening of the body and occurs two to six hours after death. Releases after 8 hours of death. This is important to determine time of death, Dye says.

8:45 a.m. “We look for weapons, we look for medications, we look for the health history …” Dye is talking about responding to an unattended death, which is death that is not directly under a doctor’s care.

8:44 a.m. “We respond to unattended deaths … determine cause of death. … I sign off on the death certificate,” Dye says.

8:43 a.m. Fremont County Deputy Prosecutor Rocky Wixom is questioning Dye. Dye has been coroner since January 2019. They are discussing what kind of training she has.

8:40 a.m. The state will be calling Brenda Dye, who is the Fremont County coroner.

8:39 a.m. Chad Daybell is wearing a white shirt and a tie.

8:38 a.m. Court is now in session. Jury being brought in.

8:37 a.m. We are still waiting for court to begin.

8:25 a.m. Good morning. This is Andrea Olson with reporting on the trial today. I am filling in for Nate Eaton on his week off. I am not in the courtroom, but I’ll do my best to bring you updates from the court’s livestream. It might be a challenge to see specific details as I am reporting from Idaho Falls.