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Lori Vallow not facing death penalty, Idaho judge says

An Idaho woman will not face the death penalty if convicted in a case involving the murder of her two youngest children, a judge ruled Tuesday.

The decision came weeks before Lori Vallow’s trial began on April 3.

Prosecutors were seeking the death penalty for Vallow, but his lawyers said it should be taken off the table in his case because they won’t have time to fully review a large amount of evidence that has been handed over in recent years. weeks.

In a hearing on Tuesday, 7th District Judge Steven Boyce agreed. He noted that Vallow had not waived his right to a speedy trial, so proceedings could not be postponed to give his defense team enough time to review the evidence.

Vallow and her husband, Chad Daybell, are accused of killing her son, Joshua “JJ” Vallow, 7, and her daughter, Tylee Ryan, 17. They are also accused of killing Daybell’s first wife, Tammy Daybell.

Joshua Vallow and Tylee Ryan.Freemont County Sheriff’s Office

They pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, conspiracy and grand larceny in connection with the children’s deaths.

The death penalty still applies to Daybell’s case.

Prosecutors had said in court papers that evidence would show that Vallow “intended to cause her children and her boyfriend’s wife to die, and that she acted positively to cause those deaths to occur.” The evidence will be presented at his trial.

Vallow’s attorneys have filed a motion saying the death penalty is unconstitutional.

Idaho police began investigating Vallow and Daybell, an apocalyptic perpetrator, in November 2019 after family members reported the two children missing. The couple refused to cooperate with the investigation and left the state, only to be found in Hawaii and extradited to Idaho.

Court documents indicate that the children’s remains were found in June 2020 on Fremont County property in Daybell. Joshua, who had special needs, was buried in a pet cemetery and Tylee’s remains were dismembered and burned in a fire pit, the documents show.

Chad Daybell enters the courtroom during his preliminary hearing in St. Anthony, Idaho on August 3, 2020.
Chad Daybell enters the courtroom during his preliminary hearing in St. Anthony, Idaho on August 3, 2020. John Roark/Pool via AP

Vallow is also charged with conspiracy to commit murder in Arizona in connection with the death of her former husband, Charles Vallow. He was shot and killed in 2019 by his brother, Alex Cox, who claimed it was in self-defense. Cox later died of what police said were natural causes.

Court proceedings in this case are on hold while the Idaho case unfolds.

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