An Idaho judge has disqualified attorney Mark Means from representing Lori Vallow due to the lawyer’s previous working relationship with Vallow’s husband Chad Daybell.
Both Vallow and Daybell are facing numerous charges in the presumed murders of Vallow’s children and Daybell’s wife Tammy Daybell. Tylee Ryan, 16, and JJ Vallow, 7, were found dead on Chad Daybell’s property in June 2020. Court documents previously obtained by CrimeOnline show that police and prosecutors believe the children died on separate dates in September 2019. Tammy Daybell died suddenly in December 2019, and her death was initially determined to have been the result of natural causes. After her body was exhumed, a medical examiner ruled her death a homicide, and Chad Daybell has been charged with first-degree murder.
Vallow has been deemed temporarily unfit to stand trial and is receiving treatment at a mental health facility. Fox 10 reports that Fremont County Judge Steven Boyce has disqualified Vallow’s attorney Mark Means from representing her in her upcoming trial.
As previously reported, Chad Daybell was arrested the day investigators found the remains of Lori Vallow’s children in his backyard. Fox 1o obtained previously sealed documents showing that Daybell spoke to Means that day and believed the conversation was protected by attorney-client privilege, though it was not clear in the early days following Daybell’s arrest who was representing him. Attorney Jon Prior is now Daybell’s defense lawyer.
The report does not include details of the conversation Daybell had with Means after his arrest, but it does indicate that Daybell’s relationship with Vallow’s now-disqualified attorney was a significant factor in the judge’s decision.
Both Daybell and Vallow’s trials are expected to begin in 2023.
[Feature image: Lori Vallow Daybell, right, smiles sitting with her defense attorney Mark Means during her hearing on Friday, March 6, 2020, in Rexburg, Idaho. (John Roark/The Idaho Post-Register via AP, Pool)]