Although murder defendant Lori Vallow-Daybell is not giving up her right to a speedy trial, she realizes that delaying her trial for three months gives her lawyers more leeway in preparing her case.
“If the court moves her track from October 11, 2022 to January 9, 2023, she understands this will give her defense team more time to prepare,” Vallow-Daybell attorneys Jim Archibald and John Thomas wrote in a court filing on Thursday.
Archibald and Thomas submitted court documents following prosecutors’ May 2 filing asking to continue his October case at the trial originally scheduled for January 2023 in Boise. Initially, Vallow-Daybell was to be tried with her fifth husband and co-defendant Chad Daybell.
“If the two cases are not tried at the same time, it will result in an abusive separation,” prosecutors wrote in the court filing.
At an April 19 hearing where she pleaded “not guilty,” Vallow-Daybell asserted her right to a “speedy trial.”
Vallow-Daybell faces the death penalty after being charged with the murder of her children Tylee Ryan, 16, and JJ Vallow, 7. She has been in detention since February 20, 2020 after refusing to hand over the children to authorities.
Four months later, and on June 9, 2020, law enforcement located the remains of the children buried at the Salem property of Chad Daybell. He was arrested shortly thereafter.
In May 2021, the Daybells were charged with murdering the two children. Chad Daybell has also been charged with the murder of his first wife Tammy Daybell and was charged with insurance fraud after pocketing $430,000 in life insurance benefits after her death. He married Vallow-Daybell two weeks after Tammy Daybell’s death.
Chad Daybell has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Shortly after Vallow-Daybell was charged, Seventh District Court Judge Steven Boyce ordered that she be sent to a mental health facility in Idaho for treatment. After her release from the facility last month, Vallow-Daybell was arraigned. The impeachment meant that public funds could be used to cover his legal fees. Vallow-Daybell pleaded “not guilty” to the charges.
“She has met on several occasions with her defense team, currently consisting of lead counsel, co-counsel, a mitigation specialist and an investigator,” Vallow-Daybell’s attorneys wrote. in their file. “She understands that her defense team is spending a considerable amount of time sifting through the mountain of discovery in this case in order to prepare for trial.”
Lawyers associated with the case have frequently called this “mountain of findings” “voluminous”.
Archibald and Thomas, who are both qualified for the death penalty, wrote that Vallow-Daybell knows that a possible conviction in her case carries the potential for capital punishment.
“She understands the scrutiny in a potential death penalty case,” the lawyers wrote.
The men noted that Vallow-Daybell’s mental health is still of serious concern and could have her readmitted to a mental health facility.
“None of the experts employed by the court and the Idaho State Department of Health and Welfare assert that she is faking or making up her mental illness,” the attorneys wrote. “She understands that she will undergo further mental health tests as a certified neuropsychologist for the Defense team will meet with her next month.”
Vallow-Daybell and his attorneys will meet in front of Boyce at 10 a.m. Thursday at the Fremont County Courthouse. During the hearing, they will examine a request to “find a valid reason to continue the trial and prevent an abusive separation”.