Judge denies motion to withdraw by Chad Daybell attorney in hearing

Jan 18, 2024, 10:48 AM | Updated: Feb 26, 2024, 12:12 pm

chad daybell and lawyer...

Chad Daybell and his attorney, John Prior, appear in a hearing on Oct. 29, 2020. (KSL TV)


FREMONT COUNTY, Idaho — A judge has denied John Prior’s request to withdraw as the attorney for Chad Daybell in a hearing ahead of Daybell’s April murder trial.

Prior had asked to be removed from the trial and case, telling the court he felt he wasn’t qualified to defend someone in a death penalty case. Prior was also concerned that Daybell would not be able to pay for Prior’s services.

District Judge Steven W. Boyce cited several reasons for denying Prior’s request, including the state’s right to a speedy trial, as well as the defendant’s. Boyce also said that delays would prejudice the defendant.

Prior had argued that he wouldn’t be able to defend Daybell, but Judge Boyce said he couldn’t find any specific grounds that Prior couldn’t defend his client.

Withdrawal would risk the future of. any hearing, trial for Chad Daybell

Finally, Boyce said he didn’t know who would replace Prior.

“Quite frankly, I don’t know who would be appointed,” said Boyce. “The trial would have to be vacated — quite possibly for a long time.”

State prosecutors had argued that Daybell waived his rights to a capital-qualified lawyer and that Daybell’s money issues were known a year ago. 

The state also argued that Prior was offered a second attorney which included money to obtain that attorney.

Overall, the state argued it doesn’t want council for the defendant who cannot be prepared. But they are frustrated by the delays the state believes this issue will inevitably cause.

Some of the charges against Daybell include first-degree murder for the death of his former wife, Tammy Daybell. He faces the same charge for the deaths of Lori Vallow Daybell’s children, Tylee Ryan and J.J. Vallow.

Lori Vallow Daybell has been sentenced to life in prison for the deaths of her children, Tylee Ryan and J.J. Vallow.

Our previous reporting:

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Vallow Daybell Case

Jurors are speaking publicly for the first time about their decision to give Chad Daybell the death...

Simone Seikaly and Becky Bruce

In appeal, Chad Daybell asks Idaho Supreme Court to review verdict, sentence

An attorney for Chad Daybell has filed an appeal asking the state supreme court to evaluate Daybell's trial and verdict.

9 days ago

Jurors are speaking publicly for the first time about their decision to give Chad Daybell the death...

Andrew Adams,

Daybell jurors speak publicly about death penalty decision

One of the alternate jurors in the Chad Daybell case said the roughest day was when they heard impact statements from family.

9 days ago

Chad Daybell during his murder trial , he could face the death penalty...

Sam Herrera and Kennedy Camarena

Jury sentences Chad Daybell to death

The decision comes two days after the jury convicted Daybell for the murders of Tylee Ryan, JJ Vallow and Tammy Daybell.

13 days ago

chad daybell...

Sam Herrera

Jury deliberations for Chad Daybell death penalty decision begin

An Idaho jury convicted Chad Daybell of three murders on Thursday. He now awaits sentencing and could face the death penalty.

14 days ago

Chad Daybell appears during a court hearing in St. Anthony, Idaho, Aug. 4, 2020. On the first day o...

Larry Curtis,

Jury finds Chad Daybell guilty of murders, all charges

The jury in the Chad Daybell murder trial convened late Wednesday afternoon. By Thursday afternoon, they had come to their verdict.

16 days ago

John Prior speaks with Chad Daybell during a hearing in August 2020. An FBI agent testified Monday ...

Becky Bruce

Chad Daybell trial: witness testimony ends, closing arguments begin Wednesday

If the state of Idaho wraps up its questioning of rebuttal witnesses today, closing arguments in the trial of Chad Daybell would take place next.

17 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Underwater shot of the fisherman holding the fish...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Your Bear Lake fishing guide

Bear Lake offers year-round fishing opportunities. By preparing ahead of time, you might go home with a big catch!

A group of people cut a purple ribbon...


Comcast announces major fiber network expansion in Utah

Comcast's commitment to delivering extensive coverage signifies a monumental leap toward a digitally empowered future for Utahns.

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.


Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Judge denies motion to withdraw by Chad Daybell attorney in hearing