LIVE UPDATES | Defense rests and rebuttal witnesses are called in Daybell trial - East Idaho News

LIVE UPDATES | Defense rests and rebuttal witnesses are called in Daybell trial

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Please excuse the typos. These are live updates from the courtroom.

11:51 a.m. The state has no further witnesses for today. Court is dismissing early and will not be held tomorrow. We will be back on Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. Join me tonight for ‘Courtroom Insider’ at 6:30 p.m. MDT.

11:50 a.m. Blake has nothing further. Mattingly is done testifying.

11:49 a.m. Blake asks Mattingly if he was polite and if Ball was polite. He says they were. There were no threats. Blake asks if, as part of his employment, Mattingly has been involved in death notifications. “Do you generally just go and blurt out what the cause of someone’s death is?” “No.” “Do you generally want to sit down and have that conversation?” “I do.”

11:46 a.m. Prior says, “You gave her information from organizations that are managed by the prosecutor’s office.” Mattingly says yes. Prior says, “You were very concerned about counseling for the Daybell children 14 months after their mother was exhumed. Why weren’t you so concerned when their mother was taken out of her burial site?” Blake objects, Boyce sustains, Prior has nothing further.

11:45 a.m. Prior asks if Mattingly talking about the school was a “police tactic to soften her up a little bit to get her to open up and talk about things.” Mattingly says Ball made the statement – not him. Prior asks about the victim services Mattingly offered. Mattingly says he understands that the prosecutor’s office manages victim services.

11:43 a.m. Prior asks Mattingly if he knows who Josh Garner is. He knows and was aware there was a potential connection. Prior asks Mattingly is he can blame Emma for being a little skeptical to talk with the police about her mother’s death. Blake objects. Judge sustains and the question is stricken.

11:42 a.m. Prior asks if Mattingly ever went to talk to Emma about the autopsy for the 14 months after Tammy was exhumed. Mattingly says no.

11:41 a.m. Prior asks Mattingly about him wearing a recorder. Prior asks Mattingly if his motive in talking to Emma was to get her reaction on tape. Mattingly says no.

11:40 a.m. Prior asks about Mattingly saying it was a “comedy of errors” trying to get a hold of her. Mattingly says he was trying to lighten the situation. Prior says, “It was a light situation letting a daughter know how her mother died?” State objects. Prior withdraws the question. Prior asks Mattingly why he couldn’t just tell Emma about the autposy. Mattingly says he didn’t just want to throw it out there.

11:38 a.m. Prior references a portion of the recording where Emma says she tried to get a hold of the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office about the autopsy. Mattingly says Emma contacted the office once.

11:36 a.m. Prior asks if providing the family with the autopsy results was an investigative concern. Mattingly said no – but the reason law enforcement waited a month to tell the family was for an investigative reasons.

11:35 a.m. Prior asks if Emma was polite and responsive at that day. Mattingly says she was. Prior asks when Mattingly obtained the autopsy results. He doesn’t recall but believes it was close to a month before he went to visit Emma.

11:34 a.m. Mattingly wanted to make sure Emma had access to the autopsy and the results. Emma never reached out to review them. Prior will now cross-examine.

11:32 a.m. Emma told Mattingly to contact her attorney Josh Garner. Mattingly reached out to Garner and Garner said he was not representing the kids. Mattingly says Emma never reached out to the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office in an attempt to get the results. Emma never told them anything about her mom’s health.

11:31 a.m. Mattingly says, “We do want to let you know” about the results and Emma says, “Thank you very much.” The investigation was still active at this time so he could not provide her a copy of the autopsy but he was willing to sit down and go over the results.

11:29 a.m. Mattingly says Garth, Seth and Leah Daybell were going to be contacted by other law enforcement that day around the same time Mattingly was attempting contact with Emma. Mattingly invites Emma to come in and talk about the autopsy results.

11:28 a.m. Mattingly says there have been difficulties trying to get a hold of people and other deputies are contacting other family members about the autopsy. Emma says ok and thank you.

11:27 a.m. Mattingly says Emma can reach out for victim services and gives her the contact information. Mattingly tells Emma she doesn’t have to talk with anyone at the prosecutors office. Emma talks about how the school system is growing and how different grades are getting moved to different buildings.

11:25 a.m. Mattingly says they aren’t looking to ask questions – they just want to share the findings and results. “We can’t go in-depth on the report” but he tells her that can talk about it. Mattingly asks if she wants to set something up. Emma says, “Not right now.” Mattingly asks if he should reach out to her attorney to set something up. Emma says, “I’ll have him call you.”

11:23 a.m. Mattingly introduces himself to Emma and says they have been trying to get a hold of them. He says they have the autopsy results of her mom. Emma says Mattingly needs to contact their attorney. Mattingly asks who the attorney is and Emma says they don’t have one at the moment. Emma says they have decided they are going to wait to learn about the autopsy when they release it. “We’re just not interested in interviewing, answering any questions, we just want to see it,” Emma says. Mattingly says they aren’t asking for an interview – they just want to show them the autopsy and let her know what is in it.

11:22 a.m. Blake plays a clip. Mattingly says it is himself talking with Principal Garner at the school. Prior does not object to the exhibit. Blake begins playing the recording.

11:18 a.m. Mattingly made contact with Emma in Feb. 2021 after school one day. She was working as a teacher at Central Elementary. Mattingly and Rexburg Police Lt. Ron Ball went to the school. Mattingly recorded the interaction with Emma. Blake moves to admit the recording.

11:16 a.m. Blake asks Mattingly if any of the Daybell children reached out to the sheriff’s office about the autopsy. Mattingly says Emma Murray did. Mattingly says Det. Kaaikamanu attempted to reach out to Emma and Garth with no response or call back about the autopsy. Mattingly says a team was formed to make contact with most of the Daybell children to let them know about the autopsy.

11:15 a.m. Mattingly is back on the stand. Blake is questioning him. Mattingly became involved in Tammy Daybell’s death in mid-December 2019. He was also involved in the investigation into the deaths of JJ and Tylee.

11:14 a.m. Fremont Co. Detective Sgt. Bruce Mattingly is the next rebuttal witness.

11:13 a.m. Prior has nothing further. Blake asks Mackay how Garth appeared when he told him about finding his mom. Garth says he seemed sad and something was affecting him. Mackay says he was clear in his statement that he found his mom and he was clear in his statement that his dad was gone.

11:11 a.m. Prior asks about the statement that Garth found his mom dead and his dad wasn’t home. “I was still at work at the Haunted Mill. There were a few other scare actors around us. It was closer toward the end of our shift,” Mackay says. He says he went up and offered his condolences when Garth told him.

11:10 a.m. Prior asks if Garth said anything about playing video games or hearing snoring from the room. Mackay says he did not. Prior asks Mackay about going to haunted houses with Garth. Mackay says the weekend after their attraction closed, they went to other haunted houses. Mackay, Garth and two female friends went with them.

11:09 a.m. Mackay says he doesn’t know the day Tammy died. He says Garth took a day off after the death and it was the following weekend when he saw Garth again.

11:08 a.m. Mackay says the Haunted Mill opened at 7:30 p.m. and would close at midnight but they couldn’t leave until the last customer left. The last two weeks of October it was full-time Monday thru Saturday and the rest of the month it was just on the weekends.

11:08 a.m. They worked at the haunted house until 1-1:30 a.m. Blake has nothing further. Prior will now cross examine.

11:06 a.m. Garth and Mackay went to some haunted houses together. They also hung out at work. The weekend after Tammy died, Garth spoke with Mackay about his mom’s death. “He said he found her when he got home from work and he didn’t know where his father was. I don’t remember if he said she was in the bed or next to the bed. She was kind of pale and her lips were blue,” Mackay says.

11:05 a.m. Mackay worked in the room next to Garth at the haunted house in 2019. “If it was slower, we could talk with each other.” Mackay says the Haunted Mill is open in October.

11:03 a.m. Next rebuttal witness is Jason MacKay Abegglen. Lindsey Blake will question him. He goes by Mackay. Mackay knows Garth from the Haunted Mill attraction.

11:01 a.m. Prior asks if Jensen had deep, meaningful discussions with Emma. Jensen says Emma is her friend and they have discussions. Prior asks Jensen if Emma would share with her a very private issue about her mother’s death. “It wasn’t a private issue. Her mother had passed away and she was sharing the cause.” Prior has nothing further. Wixom has no re-direct.

11 a.m. Prior asks Jensen if she thinks Tammy was an introvert. Jensen says she was a very friendly person and she felt comfortable in the school. Jensen says at school, Tammy was an outgoing person.

10:59 a.m. Prior asks if it is a relatively small school. Jensen says there are 15 teachers of regular classes, herself, principal, librarian, PE teacher. Jensen says she has a closer relationship with Emma than she did with Tammy and still considers Emma her friend.

10:58 a.m. Prior asks how often Jensen had time to sit down and have a meaningful talk with Tammy. They occasionally had lunch together and Tammy often stopped into Jensen’s classroom to talk with her and other women about book ideas, what they were reading, etc.

10:57 a.m. Prior asks Jensen how often she had contact with Tammy. She says 2-3 days a week. Once a week would be more than casual contact and they would have a discussion.

10:56 a.m. There is an issue with a statement that Prior argues is hearsay. Wixom says it’s not being argued for the truth of the matter. Boyce says Wixom can proceed with the question. Wixom asks Jensen if Emma ever told mentioned how she believed her mom died. “She said it was related to a blood clot and that’s what the doctors suspected,” Jensen says. Wixom has nothing further. Prior will now cross.

10:51 a.m. Wixom asks if Tammy ever complained about feeling sick or unwell. Jensen says no. Tammy didn’t miss work, never seemed tired or exhausted and didn’t appear winded. Wixom asks for a sidebar.

10:50 a.m. Jensen says every day, even if she wore a dress, Tammy wore tennis shoes. “She aimed to get steps in, she participated in exercise classes.”

10:49 a.m. Jensen says Tammy was back and forth between the library and computer lab. She did recess duties and was all over the school a lot. Jensen says Tammy was “well and healthy and she strived to keep herself that way.”

10:48 a.m. Jensen says she was friends and colleagues with Tammy. She saw Tammy doing her work a couple times a week. “She ran our library, she was our computer specialist, she was out go-to. If there was something that needed to be done and we didn’t know how to do it, Tammy was our girl.”

10:47 a.m. Jensen lives in Sugar City and works at Central Elementary School. Jensen runs the Title One department and supervises paraprofessionals at the school. Jensen hired Emma Daybell and worked with Tammy Daybell at the school.

10:44 a.m. Jurors are seated. Prior says there will be no further witnesses and defense will rest its case. Wixom says Lisa Marie Jensen will be called as first rebuttal witness.

10:43 a.m. Jurors will now be brought in and prosecutors will begin with rebuttal witnesses.

10:42 a.m. Boyce will not allow Cannon’s testimony in rebuttal because he would able to know exactly what was testified to by previous witnesses. Boyce grants Prior’s motion to exclude the witness.

10:40 a.m. Boyce says some prejudice could result by allowing him to return to testify after hearing other testimony. The judge appreciates the candor of the prosecution and Cannon for admitting he listened to other testimony.

10:39 a.m. Boyce says when witnesses are permitted to listen to other testimony, there are opportunities for witnesses to know exactly what they are going to be asked about, how they would respond to questions and they can listen to other witnesses. Boyce says he has gone back and forth about whether this fact should allow him to testify again.

10:37 a.m. Boyce is more concerned about allowing Cannon to return because he viewed the trial after he testified. Boyce doesn’t have hesitation that it would be appropriate rebuttal – the question is whether his testimony has been tainted after being released by the state.

10:36 a.m. Boyce says the state bears the burden and rebuttal witnesses are allowed to testify. He says some narrow topics came up in the defense case in chief – including the issue of whether or not something was shown on the computer screen and whether Murray said he heard Tammy scream.

10:35 a.m. Wixom says Cannon has never been cross-examined on the matter because the issue came up after he had testified during the testimony of Joseph Murray. Wixom does not believe Cannon has been tainted by listening to other testimony but Wixom says the judge can question him about the issue.

10:34 a.m. Prior “wholly objects to this tactic” and if the court opens it door, it opens the door to rebuttal that could go on for days, Prior says. Wixom says this isn’t a tactic – rebuttal is part of the rules. Wixom says the state can’t anticipate that inaccurate testimony will be offered by the defense.

10:32 a.m. Prior says the prosecutors don’t like the tone and they are going to go through every witness to try and get them to testify again. Prior argues Cannon has been dismissed and excused from subpoena and it’s “sour grapes” with the prosecutors because they don’t like what has been presented. Prior says the witness has been tainted.

10:30 a.m. Prior says in reviewing Cannon’s report, the very first sentence is, “On Oct. 9, 2019, at 21:40 hours, I was talking to Tamara Daybell in the front room of her home.” Prior says for him to say he just stepped in the home contradicts the statement. Prior says the computer is in the front room.

10:29 a.m. Wixom admits there is an issue that Cannon has watched testimony but argues he should be allowed to come back and testify. Boyce wants to clarify whether Cannon was called a “liar.” Wixom admits he was never flat out called a liar but Joseph Murray questioned his truthfulness.

10:27 a.m. After prosecution rested, Cannon listened to the testimony of Garth Daybell and Joseph Murray and heard the inconsistencies. Wixom says it’s simply not true that Dep. Cannon was shown any pictures of a paintball gun. “His character has been attacked. He’s been called a liar,” Wixom says. Wixom argues Cannon should be called back and these very narrow issues can be addressed.

10:26 a.m. Wixom says when he was questioning Joseph Murray, he asked about telling Cannon that he heard a scream. Murray said Cannon put inaccurate statement in his report, “he’s been called a liar in front of the jury and he wishes to be able to come and offer what he believes is the truth.”

10:24 a.m. Wixom says the issue about not seeing anything on the computer screen came up after Cannon was released from subpoena. He went back home and didn’t listen, in part, to Det. Kaaiakamanu’s testimony, Wixom says. Dep. Cannon listened to part of Kaaiakamanu’s testimony and heard about the gun issue. Cannon immediately contacted the prosecutor and said he wanted to set the record straight.

10:23 a.m. Wixom says Cannon will testify he never saw anything on a computer screen and never stepped foot inside the Daybell home when he responded to the call on Sept. 9 that Tammy had been shot at. He will also testify that Joseph Murray approached him and said he heard Tammy scream that evening. Wixom says it’s important to hear from Cannon as this contradicts what Garth Daybell and Murray said during their testimony.

10:20 a.m. Boyce is on the bench and says the court has been taking care of administrative issues during the break. The jury is not in the courtroom yet as Boyce wants to deal with a potential witness issue. Wixom says after the defense rests, prosecutors plan to call Det. Colter Cannon as a rebuttal witness.

10:19 a.m. We are back in the courtroom after a longer morning break.

9:30 a.m. Prior says Chad does not intend to testify in the trial. Boyce asks Chad if it’s his decision not to testify. “That is correct.” We will now take a morning recess. When we come back, jury will be told that defense is resting.

9:28 a.m. Boyce says the defense does not intend to call further witnesses. Boyce says we now need to know if Chad Daybell intends to testify. Boyce tells Chad the jurors will be told that Chad has a constitutional right not to testify and if he does not, it can’t be used against him during jury deliberations.

9:27 a.m. Boyce says we need to take up an issue outside the presence of the jurors. Jury leaves the courtroom.

9:22 a.m. Boyce asks if defense has another witness. Prior asks for a sidebar.

9:20 a.m. There were two rib fractures consistent with blunt force trauma. There were 18 sharp force defects on Tylee’s bones. Wixom has nothing further. Prior has one follow up question – there is no specific way to determine where these traumas took place. Bartelink says there is no way to tell. Nothing further and the witness is excused.

9:19 a.m. There was blunt force trauma on the skull and other places. There were sharp defects on other parts of the body and a shovel, pickax or machete cannot be excluded from causing that trauma.

9:18 a.m. Bartelink says it’s possible there are still bones on the Daybell property that have not been collected. Bartelink found a lot of blunt force defects on the bones consistent with perimortem trauma. The left jaw bone had been fractured in six different places.

9:17 a.m. Bartelink says it’s possible Tylee was burned on the property, but it’s also possible she was burned elsewhere.

9:16 a.m. Bartelink says his findings are not substantially different than what Christensen found. Wixom asks about whether Tylee could be burned in a two hour period. Bartelink says it’s possible but there are many variables to consider.

9:14 a.m. Wixom asks Bartelink if he looked at Tylee’s autopsy report. He did. He also reviewed FBI reports. Bartelink has a professional relationship with Dr. Angi Christensen, the FBI forensic anthropologist used by the prosecution.

9:13 a.m. Bartelink believes the body was burned in whole. He does not know if the body was burned and then placed in Chad’s backyard. Prior has nothing further.

9:13 a.m. Bartelink says he’s unsure if they were carnivore marks or marks associated with the burning. Prior asks Bartelink if he can determine whether Tylee was burned on Chad’s property or elsewhere. Bartelink can’t make the determination as to the day and time when the body was burned.

9:11 a.m. Prior asks about objects removed from the fire pit. Bartelink says most of the bones in the fire pit lacked diagnostic characteristics so they could not be identified as human or animal. The anthropologist with the FBI noted there was a carnivore mark on one of the shoulders.

9:09 a.m. There are lots of bones and other parts of Tylee missing. Prior asks Bartelink if he was able to determine whether the body was burned when it was in-tact. Bartelink says based on the burn pattern, Tylee was likely burned as a whole, not in pieces.

9:07 a.m. Bartelink says you would need a large quantity of wood or other combustibles to burn a body over a long period of time.

9:05 a.m. Jury is back in the courtroom. Bartelink explains how he did the body burning training. “A body does not easily burn without having combustible materials,” he says. The wooden pallets were used to help the body burn. Prior asks if just using gasoline would obtain the same result. Bartelink says you usually need other type of combustible materials because accelerants don’t usually last.

9:02 a.m. Prior says this is a foundational question that deals with Bartelink’s experience, not in direct relation to this specific case. With that understand, the prosecution withdraws the objection. Boyce says the questioning is proper for foundation.

9:01 a.m. Prior says the experiment was part of a training exercise to analyze burn marks. Prior says he can rephrase it from “experiment” to “training.” Prior says he’s not suggesting the manner and type in which the remains of Tylee were burned.

8:59 a.m. Wixom objects to the line of questioning with regards to the fire experiment. Wixom says nowhere in the 27 page report they received from the expert was the experiment referenced. Wixom says the prosecution is entitled to know about the experiment prior to trial so the prosecutor’s experts could review the findings.

8:58 a.m. Boyce says an evidentiary ruling needs to be made outside the presence of the jury. Jurors are leaving the courtroom while the matter is discussed.

8:54 a.m. Bartelink says large portions of the skeleton were missing. Prior asks Bartelink about his experience working with burned remains. Bartelink says he has done experiments with a deceased body to see what happens when a body is burned. Multiple pallets – 4-5 – similar in size to a large bonfire – were brought in to burn the body. Wixom asks for a sidebar.

8:52 a.m. He lists of the body parts that are missing – her arms, legs, a large portion of the ribs. Boyce asks Prior for a quick sidebar.

8:50 a.m. Bartelink prepared a report on their findings. “We found there were certain areas of Tylee Ryan’s remains that were absent,” Bartelink says. Prior shows an illustration of a skeleton on the scene. He asks Bartelink to point out parts of Tylee that were not recovered.

8:48 a.m. Bartelink went with two colleagues to the Rexburg Police Department to analyze Tylee’s remains in December. The three forensic anthropologists spent a day analyzing and identifying the remains.

8:45 a.m. Bartelink has testified in 7-8 trials. Prior contacted Bartelink’s office to identify the remains of Tylee Ryan.

8:43 a.m. Bartelink has learned about burned human remains and has personally assisted on over 100 burn remains cases. He assisted in the World Trade Center identification efforts and his team is the main team who does fire victim recovery for wildfire victims in California.

8:41 a.m. Bartelink us a professor of anthropology at Chico State University. He is the director of the CSU-Chico Human Identification Laboratory. Prior asks him to explain his professional background.

8:38 a.m. Jurors have taken their seats. Prior calls his next witness – Dr. Eric Bartelink.


8:35 a.m. Prosecutors Lindsey Blake, Rob Wood, Ingrid Batey and Rocky Wixom are seated at their table. There are around 20-30 people in the gallery today. Boyce is on the bench.

8:22 a.m. In the courtroom and the bailiff reminds everyone not to take photos or record in the courtroom or in the courthouse. No hats or sunglasses can be worn in the courtroom. Chad Daybell is wearing a blue dress shirt with a red tie. He is seated next to Prior and they are whispering to each other.

8:20 a.m. It’s day 29 of Chad Daybell’s trial and defense attorney John Prior is expected to rest this morning. Rocky Wixom said yesterday that prosecutors intend to call rebuttal witnesses for 1.5-2 days.