Bombshell testimony defines day 21 of the Lori Vallow Daybell murder trial

May 3, 2023, 5:33 PM


BOISE, Idaho — Day 21 in the Lori Vallow Daybell murder trial began with a former friend of the accused taking the stand. Audrey Barratarrio, the jury learned, met Lori at a conference in November 2018. Eleven months later, Barratarrio said, Lori had her fearing for her life.

Lori Vallow Daybell is charged in the murder of her children, JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan. She also faces a charge of conspiracy to commit murder in the death of Tammy Daybell.

“She needs a friend”

It was Chad Daybell that initiated the friendship. Barratarrio told the jury Chad called three months after the two had initially met, asking her to be Lori’s friend.

“He (said) she needed a friend,” she told the jury. “And I said okay.”

They would talk on the phone about every other week, mostly about spiritual things Barratarrio said. She’d see Lori a few months later, in June or July of 2019, at a scriptural-based event in Utah where Barratarrio was living at the time.

(Courtroom sketch)

By the end of that conference, Barratarrio said Lori was talking to her about “working on her husband,” who at the time was Charles Vallow. 

“Working on her husband”

Out of the blue during a telephone conversation, Barratarrio said that Lori started talking to her about zombies, and people being possessed. Those topics resurfaced in Lori’s hotel room during the convention when there were other people there including Lori’s sister-in-law,  Zulema Pastenes, and Lori’s niece, Melani Boudreaux/Pawlowski.

That’s when Lori told her friends she wanted to work on getting a negative spirit out of Charles. There was talk of knives and fire, she said. That made Barratarrio uncomfortable, she told the jury, and she left the hotel room.

Before their friendship dissolved Lori would again bring up the idea of “working on” Tammy, Chad Daybell’s wife. Barratarrio testified that Lori “highly pressured” her to participate in this work. 

The end of the friendship

It was during Audrey Barratarrio’s last trip to Idaho, where she wanted to pay her respects to Tammy Daybell’s family, that she announced to Lori their friendship was over.

As she walked up the stairs of Lori’s condominium, Lori began to laugh.

“You’re so naive and so trusting,” Lori reportedly said to Audrey. “You’ll believe anything anyone will tell you.”

After that, Audrey Barratarrio said Lori threatened to kill her.

“She said she would cut me up, and something about she wasn’t in the mental place to do that now, but she would get herself in the mental place to do it,” Barratarrio recalled. 

“And it would be so messy,” Barratarrio continued, “with so much blood. And she mentioned bleach, trash bags … and she would bury me where no one would ever find me.”


The whole truth, and nothing but the truth

The testimony from Barratarrio had visibly shaken the defense attorney Jim Archibald. Those in the courtroom said he was upset as he rose to ask more questions. 

In particular, he said that Audrey had not once recounted this story to the grand jury. He asked if she remembered testifying under oath, if she remembered saying she’d tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

“I was scared,” Barratarrio said, “because she said ‘If you ever tell anyone, I’ll come and find you in the dark night.'”

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Bombshell testimony defines day 21 of the Lori Vallow Daybell murder trial