LIVE UPDATES | Rebuttal witnesses finished in Daybell case, closing arguments to be heard Wednesday - East Idaho News

LIVE UPDATES | Rebuttal witnesses finished in Daybell case, closing arguments to be heard Wednesday

  Published at  | Updated at
Getting your Trinity Audio player ready ...


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

3:42 p.m. Nothing further today. Join me tonight at 6:30 p.m. on “Courtroom Insider.”

3:41 p.m. State has no issues with any of the other jury instructions. They are fine to have it proceed. Prior has no issues with the jury instructions. Copies will be prepared for the jurors and parties for tomorrow. Instructions will be read to the jurors at 10 a.m. followed by closing arguments.

3:39 p.m. Batey asks to modify rule #14 and that the word “questions” be added to the instruction. Prior objects, but Boyce allows the change.

3:35 p.m. Boyce says it’s problematic to him that the jury would get an instruction and then later on the instruction changes. It can cause confusion on appeal because there could be questions about what instruction the jury relied on when deliberating. Boyce says for the practical purpose of not getting the jury confused because they have heard the old instructions multiple times, he is going to stick with the old instructions.

3:31 p.m. Boyce says he’s been thinking about the change since it came down last week. The order states the new instructions are effective immediately, and it is recommended the judge use the most recent instruction unless the judge finds another instruction that more adequately sustains the law.

3:28 p.m. Prior says there aren’t many differences between the old and new instructions. He says the new instructions won’t throw jurors off or confuse them – rather, it will help explain what reasonable doubt is.

3:26 p.m. Prosecution believes jury should be given the old instructions. Ingrid Batey says they are caught between a rock and a hard place but believes it’s best to give the old instruction rather than trying to instruct them on an entirely new instruction after they’ve listened to all the evidence based on the old instruction.

3:24 p.m. Boyce wants to discuss jury instruction #5. It’s a standard instruction included in all criminal cases about reasonable doubt. The Supreme Court issued new approved instruction as of May 22 about reasonable doubt. Boyce wants to hear argument from both sides about using the instruction given for decades in Idaho or using the new instructions issued six days ago.

3:23 p.m. Boyce confirming exhibit numbers match between the defense and prosecution list before being given to the jury.

3:18 p.m. Boyce says 41 instructions will be given to the jury. Boyce lists of the instructions that he believes won’t cause any objections by either side. We don’t hear the instructions – they will be read to the jury tomorrow.

3:17 p.m. We are back on the record after the attorneys and Boyce met in a closed hearing for the last several hours. There will be discussion on jury instruction.

10:57 a.m. Public dismissed from the courtroom. There may be on-record proceedings later today. Standby for updates later.

10:52 a.m. Jurors will be dismissed for the day while some administrative actions are taken care of. A formal jury instruction conference will be held later today, Boyce says. Exhibits will also be discussed.

10:51 a.m. State has no further rebuttal witnesses. Boyce says the next stage is jury instructions in the case. They have been working on them. Closing arguments will be conducted tomorrow.

10:50 a.m. Blake has nothing further. Prior has no questions. Hermosillo is done.

10:48 a.m. Blake asks Hermosillo if he ever saw Emma at the gym. He says one time before the kids were found. He says he did not approach Emma, talk to her or work out by her. Hermosillo says he drove by the Daybell property at part of the investigation, and his dry cleaning business is near the residence. He also has family that lives near the residence. Hermosillo says most importantly, he drove by because the kids were missing. He drove by before and after they were found.

10:47 a.m. Hermosillo began working on the investigation when police received a report that JJ Vallow was missing. JJ and Tylee were eventually found buried on Chad Daybell’s property.

10:45 a.m. Next rebuttal witness is Rexburg Det. Ray Hermosillo. Lindsey Blake will question him.

10:43 a.m. Boyce is on the bench, and jurors are taking their seats.

10:36 a.m. Back in the courtroom. Waiting for Judge Boyce.

10:02 a.m. Morning recess until 10:30 a.m.

10:01 a.m. Boyce suggests we take a morning recess. Blake asks to approach. Attorney huddle in corner of courtroom with Boyce as white noise is played.

10 a.m. Prior has nothing further. Wood will now re-direct. Wood asks Stubbs if he is aware Chad and Lori were having an affair. Stubbs says yes. Lori had an iPhone. Wood asks if a person could also delete their location data to cover tracks of crimes committed. Stubbs says yes. Wood has nothing further.

9:57 a.m. The person doing the search was using the chad.daybell account. Stubbs says he cannot say who was using the account, but it was Chad’s account. Prior asks Stubbs if he knows who was the computer expert in the relationship – Chad or Tammy. Stubbs can’t testify to that. Prior asks if it’s unusual to have someone delete their search history if they were having an affair. Stubbs says possibly.

9:56 a.m. Prior says it wouldn’t be unusual for someone with an iPhone or iPad device who was having an affair to try and hide the fact they were having an affair. Stubbs agrees.

9:54 a.m. Prior asks Stubbs if he is aware Chad had an Android device. Stubbs is aware. Prior asks Stubbs if he knows Tammy had an iPad. Stubbs is not sure. This search was dealing with Apple devices.

9:53 a.m. Stubbs clicked on items on the search history from the account. It took him to the same web pages that would have been viewed by the user of the account. There were specific detailed instructions on how to turn the services off on iPhone. Wood has nothing further. Prior will now cross-examine.

9:51 a.m. Wood shows an exhibit on the screen. It shows a request to Google to have all location services deleted that was sent on Aug. 24, 2019. The deletion range goes back to 1970. In a lot of computers, that’s when their format date starts.

9:48 a.m. Stubbs says you can request that Google delete your location data. On Aug. 24, 2019, a request was made through the chad.daybell Gmail account to have all location GPS history deleted from the account.

9:46 a.m. We see an exhibit on the screen that says, “ does not have records data available.” If there were location data available, there would have been an Excel spreadsheet showing the locations of the device.

9:44 a.m. Stubbs opened a folder on the account that said there were no location services available. Wood moves to admit another exhibit.

9:41 a.m. Wood moves to admit the Google search history from the chad.daybell account. We see it displayed on the screen and there is a search from Jan. 3, 2019, of how to turn off location services on iPhone.

9:39 a.m. Madison County Prosecutor Rob Wood is questioning Stubbs. He asks what type of records he received from Google. Stubbs says he received search history, location services, user, owner of the account, etc. Stubbs found that on Jan. 3, 2019, the user of the Chad Daybell account looked up how to turn off location and GPS services on an iPhone.

9:38 a.m. Next rebuttal witness is retired Rexburg Police Det. David Stubbs.

9:37 a.m. Blake has nothing further. Prior asks if he can follow up with more questions about Chad’s kids. Boyce says Blake stayed within the scope, so Prior cannot follow up. Christensen is released.

9:35 a.m. Christensen says nothing about this case was different as far as gathering information concerning Tammy’s autopsy – just there was a lot more data. Christensen would have reviewed statements by Chad’s kids provided to law enforcement, but there weren’t any.

9:32 a.m. Prior stresses that Christensen did not mention inflammation in the lungs, and it never came up until Prior brought it up. Christensen says that’s correct. Prior says nothing else. Blake follows up with re-direct. Christensen repeats there was no indication that inflammation in Tammy’s lungs caused her death.

9:31 a.m. Prior asks why Christensen didn’t note the inflammation in Tammy’s lungs. Christensen says it’s because there wasn’t much inflammation in the lungs. “There was not significant inflammation in her lungs to account for the pulmonary edema.”

9:30 a.m. Christensen made the final decision on the autopsy about 14-15 months after doing his investigation.

9:28 a.m. Prior asks Christensen if he spoke to any of Chad’s children. Christensen says no. He did not speak to Chad’s mom or dad either. Christensen says nothing was provided to him from the family, and he did not ask for anything. His information came from law enforcement.

9:27 a.m. Christensen says he spent multiple hours going through all the information provided by law enforcement. The final discussion was deciding between undetermined or homicide.

9:24 a.m. Prior asks what information Christensen received. He says a lot of reports and other details. Prior asks Christensen if he’s heard of the term “confirmation bias.” Christensen has heard of it. His understanding is when you come to a conclusion and get information to validate your conclusion while rejecting things that don’t affirm your opinion.

9:23 a.m. After reviewing Dr. Raven’s testimony and report, Christensen says his opinion of cause and manner of death has not charged. Homicide by asphyxia. Blake is done. Prior will now cross-examine.

9:21 a.m. Christensen says no sign the asphyxiation was natural, accidental or suicide. The two categories left are homicide and undetermined.

9:19 a.m. Christensen is aware Tammy was taking an antidepressant. There was no sign that played a role in her death. No sign that sleep apnea played a role in her death. Nothing was in the medical records about sleep apnea. Christensen says sleep apnea could cause a sudden death but normally someone would be significantly obese with heart problems. Tammy was not obese.

9:17 a.m. Blake asks Christensen if it’s likely Tammy died of anything related to toxicology issues. He says no. Seizures were also assessed, and no signs of those. No signs of irregularities in Tammy’s heart. What was left was asphyxial causes.

9:15 a.m. Christensen says there was a fairly short list of Tammy’s possible cause of death – cardiac arrhythmia, asphyxial deaths, drug intoxication and seizures.

9:14 a.m. Christensen says when you are looking at multiple possible causes of death, you get as much information as you can to narrow down how the person died. Blake asks what external injuries Tammy had. Christensen says there were bruises on her arms and chest. Tammy had normal organs – brain, heart, no significant pathology in any of her organs.

9:12 a.m. Christensen reviewed records from the Teton clinic and Seasons Medical along with records from Springville, Utah. Christensen reviewed Dr. Raven’s report. Christensen reviewed a lot more than Raven did and Raven did not review any medical records.

9:11 a.m. Christensen says if he is doing an autopsy where the cause of death is not immediately determined, his staff requests medical records to help learn the background. Christensen received multiple reports from law enforcement. His office kept a list of all the documents they reviewed.

9:10 a.m. Christensen explains that he gathers as much information as he can about how someone died because their patients cannot talk to them – they are dead.

9:08 a.m. Blake asks Christensen if he has watched any portions of the trial. He has not but he read the transcript of Dr. Kathy Raven’s testimony. She’s the defense expert who argued that Tammy did not die from asphyxia.

9:06 a.m. Jury is seated and Fremont County Prosecutor Lindsey Blake will question the first witness today: Dr. Eric Christensen, the Utah medical examiner who did the autopsy on Tammy Daybell.

9:01 a.m. Olsen says there was a group of people present for the conversation, but this isn’t information the defense knew before trial. The defense has not been able to verify who was at the table when the statement was apparently made. Boyce says limiting the testimony down does not provide the jury with full context of the conversation. Boyce rules to exclude Janice Olsen from testifying further as a rebuttal witness.

9 a.m. Boyce says he doesn’t have anything that would question Olsen’s truthfulness, but he has an ongoing concern about the statement of Tammy Daybell making the comment about upping her life insurance before retirement. “There wasn’t any real context in the trial about facts of when she was retiring, if it was any time in the near future,” Boyce says.

8:57 a.m. Wixom responds that he doesn’t appreciates Prior’s innuendo that Wixom has influenced the witness. Wixom says he was honest with Prior and respectfully told him what had happened. Wixom says there was nothing that prohibited Prior from reaching out to the witness and getting her version of events, and Prior never did.

8:55 a.m. Prior argues against having Olsen testifying and says “over the four day weekend, Mr. Wixom preps the witness” and claims her testimony changed. “There are too many uncertainties here. … We do know after reviewing Emma’s testimony, the light suddenly came on.” Prior says there are a number of red flags, and it’s unclear what else Olsen could say.

8:54 a.m. Boyce asks Wixom if Olsen watched the previous motion in limine hearing about her situation. Wixom says he’s unsure if she watched it but she was made aware of the court’s ruling.

8:51 a.m. Wixom says Olsen has listened to Emma Murray’s (Chad’s daughter) testimony because she was released from her subpoena. Wixom says they can keep questioning very narrow and does not believe Olsen has been tainted. Olsen candidly said she has been watching the trial and listened to Emma’s testimony, so Wixom says she can be trusted.

8:48 a.m. Wixom says the issue concerns a witness named Janice Olsen. Olsen heard Tammy Daybell say she wanted her husband to raise her life insurance. She was having lunch at school with Tammy a month before Tammy died and during the lunch, the issue of life insurance was raised. Tammy said her husband wanted her to increase her life insurance.

8:47 a.m. Boyce says we are concluding with evidence and rebuttal witnesses today. An issue has been raised regarding a proposed witness so there will be a motion about the matter. Fremont County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney will argue the issue.

8:44 a.m. Judge Boyce is on the bench. The 17 jurors have returned following the long holiday weekend. Only 12 of these jurors will deliberate when the time comes – five alternates will be excused. They will be chosen with a random lottery drawing.

8:31 a.m. Bailiff giving instructions to courtroom – phones on silent, no sleeping, no whispering, etc. A courtroom conduct order is in effect, and there is a separate order in effect for the entire courthouse. No photos can be taken in the courthouse.

8:27 a.m. Attorneys leave the courtroom to meet with Judge Boyce in chambers. Chad is sitting at his table alone scrolling on his laptop. Gallery is full today. The court has brought back the reservation system so you need to have a reservation to get a seat.

8:23 a.m. It’s day 30 of Chad Daybell’s trial. More rebuttal witnesses are expected to be called by the prosecution. Chad is laughing and chatting with his attorney, John Prior, at the defense table. Prosecutors are at their table.