BOISE, Idaho –
An Idaho judge has postponed the trial of a woman accused of conspiring to kill her fifth husband’s two youngest children and late wife until officials can determine if she is qualified. mental or not.
Seventh District Judge Steven Boyce ruled on Thursday, days after Lori’s defense attorney Vallow Daybell requested a halt to the case. Documents detailing the request have been sealed and a brief hearing on the matter has been made public.
The trial has been set for next January.
Neither Vallow Daybell nor her husband, Chad Daybell, pleaded guilty. The strange details of the case have attracted attention from all over the world.
Idaho law enforcement officers began investigating the couple in November 2019 after family members reported her two youngest children, Joshua “JJ” Vallow and Tylee Ryan, were missing. At the time, JJ Vallow was 7 years old and Tylee Ryan was nearing her 17th birthday.
Daybell and Vallow Daybell got married just two weeks after his previous wife, Tammy Daybell, died suddenly. The children’s bodies were later found buried in his estate in rural eastern Idaho.
The pair were eventually charged with murder, conspiracy, and grand theft in connection with the deaths of Daybell’s children and late wife. They pleaded not guilty and could face the death penalty if found guilty.
Prosecutors say the pair promoted unusual religious beliefs to further the alleged murder plots. Vallow Daybell’s ex-husband, Charles Vallow, died while the two were estranged but in the divorce documents it is stated that Vallow Daybell believes she is a god-like figure responsible for ushering in the apocalypse. Daybell has written apocalyptic-focused fiction books and recorded podcasts about preparing for the apocalypse.
Friends of the couple told law enforcement investigators that the couple believed people could be possessed by dark spirits, and Vallow Daybell referred to her children as “zombies,” which is a term they use to describe people who are possessed.
Vallow Daybell was also charged with attempted murder in Arizona in connection with Vallow’s death. Her previous husband was shot dead by Vallow Daybell’s brother, Alex Cox, who said it was in self-defence. Cox later died of what police considered natural causes.
Arizona legal proceedings are on hold while the Idaho case is underway and Vallow Daybell has not been scheduled to issue a guilty plea in the Arizona case.
This is the second time the Idaho case against Vallow Daybell has been shelved. The criminal case was put on hold in 2021 after she was declared incompetent to stand trial and she was committed to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare for treatment. Ten months later, she was declared competent.