Judge denies Lori Vallow Daybell’s request to waive her presence for the remainder of the day

Apr 11, 2023, 2:32 PM | Updated: Oct 19, 2023, 11:46 am

A courtroom sketch shows Lori vallow daybell during her trial...

Court sketch of Lori Vallow Daybell and her two attorneys as her trial continues in Boise, Idaho on April 4, 2023. (Pool sketch artist)

(Pool sketch artist)

BOISE, Idaho — Seven days into the Lori Vallow Daybell Trial, Vallow Daybell made a request to not be present for the rest of the day of testimony following a morning of testimony where her children’s remains were shown.

Judge Steven Boyce denied the request.

Vallow Daybell is charged with seven felonies. She and her husband Chad Daybell are accused of murdering her two children, JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan. Vallow Daybell is also accused of conspiring to murder Daybell’s late wife, Tammy Daybell. 

She has pleaded not guilty.

This afternoon, following a disturbing morning of testimony from Detective Ray Hermosillo, Vallow Daybell acted differently when she entered the courtroom and looked visibly upset.

Defense attorney, John Thomas asked the judge to meet privately with Vallow Daybell in the hallway.

When court resumed, the prosecution and defense entered with Vallow Daybell entering a few minutes later.

Boyce announced to the courtroom that “a situation needs to be argued and determined outside of the presence of the jury at this time.”

“My client wishes to waive her presence at the testimony for the remainder of the day. It was emotional this morning,” James Archibald said. “She indicated that she did not wish to attend this afternoon.”

Archibald asked the court to review any relevant case law as his client with her “fragile state of mind, the mental health concerns” would “justify such a request.”

The prosecution argues that Idaho rule 43 favors a defendant being present for the duration of the trial. The case law, along with the Idaho rule, states the court can require that a defendant is present.

“Having considered the authority, I do think this court has the authority to override that request of the defendant to voluntarily excuse herself from portions of the trial but not others,” Boyce said. “Within the court’s authority to conduct this trial, her presence should be required to ensure due process.”

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Judge denies Lori Vallow Daybell’s request to waive her presence for the remainder of the day