Updated: 1:15 p.m. ET
A judge in Madison County, Idaho, has ruled to join the upcoming trials of Chad Daybell and his wife Lori Vallow, whose children Tylee Ryan and JJ Vallow were found dead in Daybell’s Salem, Idaho, backyard in June.
As East Idaho News reports, District Judge Steven Boyce agreed on Thursday to combine the upcoming trials for Daybell and Vallow, siding with the recommendation of Special Prosecutor Rob Wood.
Daybell appeared with his lawyer for the virtual hearing, but Vallow and her attorney Mark Means did not appear. As the report notes, Means had previously said he had no objection to combining the trials, though Daybell’s lawyer Jon Prior argued against it in Thursday.
Prior said that combining the trials would only increase the intense media interest in the case, and therefore make it even more difficult to find an impartial jury, according to East Idaho News.
In his decision, Boyce cited the Idaho Criminal Rule stating that defendants can be tried together when they are accused of participating in the same act.
Vallow’s trial had been set to begin in April, and Daybell is due back in court on November 24, when his attorney is expected to argue that the conspiracy and obstruction charges against his client be dismissed.
CrimeOnline will provide further updates when more information is available.
Chad Daybell will appear for a virtual hearing in Madison County, Idaho, on Thursday when a judge will rule on whether to combine his and wife Lori Vallow’s upcoming trial.
The hearing begins at 10 a.m. MT (Noon ET). According to East Idaho News, Daybell is set to appear for the hearing but it is not yet known if Vallow will be present.
The bodies of Vallow’s missing children were found buried in Chad Daybell’s backyard on June 9, months after Vallow was jailed in Madison County on child desertion charges. An investigation found that the children had likely been buried at Daybell’s property on separate dates in September 2019. The discovery of the bodies led to prosecutors dropping the child desertion charges against Vallow, but she is now facing two counts of conspiracy to commit destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence.
Daybell was arrested on the day the children were found dead, and is facing two counts of destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence along with two counts of conspiracy to commit destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence.
Neither Daybell or Vallow have been charged with murder, as the investigation continues.
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