CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Lori Vallow has unusual initial court appearance post murder charges

May 26, 2021, 9:55 PM | Updated: Dec 30, 2022, 11:21 am
unfit for trial daybell change of venue case...
(Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow Daybell are seen in Hawaii. Photo: Eric Grossarth, EastIdahoNews.com

REXBURG, IDAHO – Legal analysts reported something unusual happening in Lori Vallow in her first court appearance. This comes after she and her husband, Chad Daybell were indicted on murder charges.

Daybell and Vallow made their initial appearances in court, but Vallow’s didn’t go as planned. 

Chad Daybell’s initial court appearance 

Chad Daybell’s initial appearance proceeded as normal. Fremont County Judge Faren Eddins read all nine charges against Daybell and asked if he understood those charges. Daybell appeared with his attorney for the virtual appearance, reassuring the judge they understood he was charged in the deaths of Tylee Ryan, JJ Vallow and Daybell’s previous wife, Tammy. His arraignment was scheduled for June 9th.

Lori Vallow’s unusual court appearance

However, at the beginning of Lori Vallow’s initial appearance, Judge Eddins said he received new information right before the hearing.

He said, “The court took a recess prior to the hearing, today, and had a sidebar with counsel in chambers.”

No details were given about what that new information was, and attorneys on both sides told KSL NewsRadio they’re not at liberty to discuss the conversation unless inside the judge’s chambers. However, Judge Eddins believed it would be best to continue or postpone, the appearance.

Court decided to postpone the initial appearance 

“Based upon the information that was provided to the court, the court finds there are some exigent circumstances, as well as a motion was made orally to me to continue the appearance,” Eddins said.

Legal analysts say this was a very strange move, for multiple reasons. Former prosecutor Kent Morgan, who is not connected to this case, reported: “exigent circumstances” are very hard to prove, and normally mean something has to be taken care of immediately. 

Morgan said police officers frequently use that term when they don’t have time to wait for a warrant. “Things are happening so fast, there isn’t time to do things in a normal way,” Morgan confirmed.

He also said it’s very uncommon for an initial appearance to be postponed, at all. Morgan described the initial appearance as normally just a chance to bring all parties involved to hear the official charges against their defendant and to schedule further hearings. He suggested the initial court appearance for Vallow as especially unusual since all parties were available.

“In fact, in this case, where everybody was there, it’s extremely unusual in my experience,” Morgan said.

Legal analysts don’t want to speculate what the continuance was about, saying many different factors could have been the reason for it.  Judge Eddins didn’t set a date for Vallow’s next appearance.

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Lori Vallow has unusual initial court appearance post murder charges