After guilty verdicts, what’s next for Lori Vallow Daybell?

May 15, 2023, 4:55 PM

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SALT LAKE CITY — What is next for Lori Vallow Daybell? Her trial ended last Friday when a jury returned guilty verdicts on all six charges Vallow Daybell was facing. Those charges included the murder of her children and conspiracy to commit murder in the case of Tammy Daybell, her fifth husband’s former wife.

Prior to Friday, the prosecution spent weeks painting the picture of the deaths of 7-year-old JJ Vallow and 16-year-old Tylee Ryan. The bodies of the children were found buried on the Rexburg, Idaho property of Chad Daybell. He’s Lori Vallow Daybell’s husband and is also scheduled to stand trial for the children’s murders.

And while the defense countered the arguments made by the prosecution during the course of the trial, they did not present their own case after the state had rested. They did not call witnesses or put Vallow Daybell on the stand.

“We don’t believe the state has proved its case so the defense will rest,” said defense attorney Jim Archibald in court on May 9.  

“They just felt like there was such a weak case, and the state has the burden of proof in America,” said KSL Legal Analyst Greg Skordas. “The state has to cover that burden and it’s a high burden. They just felt like there was no way the state was going to cover that,” Skordas said.

But the jury apparently felt otherwise and came back with guilty verdicts for all six charges.

Will Lori Vallow Daybell appeal?

There are three possibilities for appeal, Skordas said. “One is that she should have had better representation (and) I think she’s going to appeal that the judge let in some evidence that he probably shouldn’t have.”

The other area of possible appeal involves the prosecutor.

“The defense is claiming… that the prosecutor did some things, including, you know, not disclosing evidence,” Skordas said. “If I were appellate counsel asked to look at this case, those are three areas I would look at very closely.”

Vallow Daybell’s sentencing

Vallow Daybell will not face the death penalty when she is sentenced. Skordas believes the judge has no choice but to sentence her to life in prison.

“I don’t know how the judge can get out of a life sentence given the facts of the case. It’s just a matter of whether he runs them at the same time, concurrently, or one after the other consecutively. And I think he’s probably going to give her the harshest sentence he can.”

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After guilty verdicts, what’s next for Lori Vallow Daybell?