Lori Vallow Daybell waives preliminary hearings, will go to District Court

Aug 6, 2020, 11:51 AM | Updated: 12:41 pm
Lori Vallow Daybell probable cause statement...
FILE - In this March 6, 2020, file photo, Lori Vallow Daybell glances at the camera during her hearing, with her defense attorney, Edwina Elcox, right, in Rexburg, Idaho. (John Roark/The Idaho Post-Register via AP, Pool, File)
(John Roark/The Idaho Post-Register via AP, Pool, File)

ST. ANTHONY, Idaho — Lori Vallow Daybell has officially waived her preliminary hearing, meaning the felony charges against her will advance to Idaho’s 7th District Court.

Lori Daybell was scheduled to face the preliminary hearing in Magistrate Court beginning on Monday. It would have mirrored a preliminary hearing against her husband, Chad Daybell, earlier this week on related charges. At the conclusion of Chad Daybell’s preliminary hearing, Fremont County Magistrate Judge Faren Eddins ruled probable cause existed to bind him over to District Court.

This suggested Lori Daybell would likely face a similar outcome. In a motion filed by her defense attorney Mark Means on Thursday, Lori Daybell waived her right to the preliminary hearing. The preliminary hearing would have required prosecutors to outline their evidence and allowed Daybell a chance to challenge that evidence.

As a result of the waiver, Daybell will not appear in court next week as previously scheduled but will instead appear in District Court at a later time. 

Currently, no date has been scheduled.

According to the East Idaho News, waiving a preliminary hearing is a fairly common occurrence in Idaho. They say once the case reaches District Court Lori Daybell will enter a plea, during a stage of the case known as an arraignment. If she pleads not guilty, the judge will set a trial date.

Prosecutors have charged Lori Daybell with two felony counts related to the disappearance and deaths of her two children, JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan. The counts are conspiracy to conceal, alter or destroy evidence.

Lori Daybell also faces misdemeanor charges in a separate but related case involving the children. Those charges, filed in neighboring Madison County, include resisting or obstructing officers, criminal solicitation to commit a crime and contempt of court.

A trial for the charges in Madison County is scheduled to begin on Jan. 25, 2021.

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