Opening Statements Set for Monday in Trial of ‘Cult Mom’ Lori Vallow Daybell

Opening statements in the trial of Lori Vallow Daybell for her role in the murders of her children and her husband’s first wife are now expected to begin Monday morning at the Ada County Courthouse in Boise, Idaho.

Vallow Daybell is charged with murder and conspiracy in the deaths of 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow and 16-year-old Tylee Ryan and conspiracy in the death of Tammy Daybell, as CrimeOnline reported. Her husband, Chad Daybell, faces the same charges, but he has waived his right to a speedy trial, and Judge Steven Boyce last month severed the two trials.

In a separate matter, Vallow Daybell faces a conspiracy charge in Arizona for the death of her previous husband, Charles Vallow, who was shot to death by her brother, Alex Cox, just weeks before the children disappeared, Tammy Daybell died mysteriously, and Lori and Chad married. Then five months later, Cox also died, reportedly of natural causes.

The jury pool hit 42, the required number, just after 5 p.m. on Thursday, said, although the judge and attorneys sought to add a few more to the number as back-ups. They will return to court Friday for the strike phase to winnow that number down to 18 — 12 jurors and six alternates.

The attorneys are looking for people who know next to nothing about the case, which is one reason Boyce moved the trial 300 miles away from Rexburg to Boise. But with NBC’s Dateline, ABC’s 20/20, and Netflix all running shows about the case, finding potential jurors has been tedious.

The jurors were questioned about what they know about the case, where they learned it, and where in general they get their new. Many of the juror who were passed into the next round said they didn’t follow the news at all .

Boyce also issued a written ruling on a thorny question: whether JJ Vallow’s grandparents, Larry and Kay Woodcock, and other family members who are expected to be called as witnesses would be allowed to attend the trial. Typically, witnesses are not allowed to hear other witness testimony, unless they are considered victims. Vallow Daybell’s attorneys argued they were witnesses only, while the prosecutors considered them victims, according to

Boyce’s ruling allows Kay Woodcock — JJ’s biological grandmother and sister to his adoptive father, Charles Vallow — Summer Shiflet, Vallow Daybell’s sister; and Colby Ryan, Vallow Daybell’s son; to attend the trial as representatives of JJ and Tylee. Larry Woodcock — who is related to the Vallows only by marriage — may not, although Boyce said he could attend the trial after his testimony.

Boyce has already barred cameras from the courtroom, although audio recordings of the proceedings are made available later.

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[Featured image:FILE – Lori Vallow Daybell glances at the camera during her hearing in Rexburg, Idaho., on March 6, 2020. The investigation started roughly 29 months ago with two missing children. It soon grew to encompass five states, four suspected murders and claims of an unusual, doomsday-focused religious beliefs involving “dark spirits” and “zombies.” On Monday, April 10, 2023, an Idaho jury will begin the difficult task of deciding the veracity of those claims and others in the triple murder trial of Lori Vallow Daybell. (John Roark/The Idaho Post-Register via AP, Pool, File)]