Idaho prosecutors intend to seek the death penalty for Chad Daybell, according to a notice filed Thursday in the 7th Judicial Court District.
Daybell is charged with first degree murder in the deaths of his first wife, Tammy Daybell, and two of his second wife’s children, 16-year-old Tylee Ryan and 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow.
Their mother, Lori Vallow, is also charged in the deaths, but a judge ruled in June she was incompetent to stand trial, as CrimeOnline previously reported. She is currently undergoing treatment.
Daybell’s trial on charges of first-degree murder, insurance fraud and criminal conspiracy is scheduled to begin on November 21.
Just weeks after she was declared incompetent, a grand jury in Arizona indicted Vallow on a charge of conspiracy to murder her husband Charles Vallow in July 2019. Lori Vallow’s brother, Alex Cox, shot Charles Vallow to death during a purported altercation, claiming self-defense. Cox died later in the year of reported natural causes.
Just weeks after Charles Vallow’s death, the two children disappeared, last seen in September. And then, in October, Tammy Daybell died suddenly, and Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow married two weeks later. Authorities were not initially suspicious of Tammy Daybell’s death, but upon learning the children were missing — and encountering Daybell and Vallow’s uncooperativeness in the search for them — investigators exhumed her body in December.
Meanwhile, Daybell and Vallow fled to Hawaii, where Vallow was eventually arrested and brought back to Idaho on child desertion charges. And then, in June 2020, investigators found the bodies of JJ and Tylee, buried on property belonging to Daybell. Daybell was arrested and after the investigation into Tammy Daybell’s death was complete, both Daybell and Vallow were charged with all three murders.
According to the notice filed with the court on Thursday, prosecutors plan “to rely on one or more” aggravating circumstances to seek the death penalty for Daybell: that the murders were committed for renumeration, that they were “especially heinous, atrocious or cruel, manifesting exceptional depravity, that Daybell “exhibited utter disregard for human life,” and/or that he “has exhiibited a propensity to commit murder which will probably constitute a continuing threat to society.”
A pre-trial hearing is to be held on September 30, prior to the start of the trial.
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[Featured image: FILE – Chad Daybell during a court hearing on August 4, 2020. (John Roark/The Idaho Post-Register via AP, Pool, File)]