CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Judge orders gag order for upcoming Chad Daybell case

Mar 28, 2024, 5:32 PM | Updated: Apr 1, 2024, 1:50 pm

Defense attorney John Prior questions David Warwick during Chad Daybell's preliminary hearing in Fr...

Defense attorney John Prior questions David Warwick during Chad Daybell's preliminary hearing in Fremont County on Tuesday, August 4, 2020. Daybell is being charged with destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence and conspiracy to commit destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence, both felony charges. The remains of Lori Vallow Daybell's two children were found on Chad Daybell's property. (Post Register/ John Roark, POOL)

(Post Register/ John Roark, POOL)

BOISE, Idaho — Judge Steven Boyce has issued a gag order in the Chad Daybell case, after Daybell’s attorney spoke with a media outlet.

Defense attorney John Prior spoke with KIVI-TV on Tuesday about his relationship with Daybell. That included how they met and whether or not Lori Vallow Daybell could be called as a witness, to which he said “it’s possible.” 

The non-dissemination order didn’t specify John Prior by name. Rather it was sent to all parties within the case. 

“Counsel in this case have recently raised concerns about pervasive media coverage,” Judge Boyce said in the official order. “The Court is now advised, and has confirmed, that counsel for the Defense participated in an interview with a reporter about this case.”

The order said “attorneys for any interested party” in this case, or any attorney that has worked in the case previously, are “prohibited from making “extrajudicial statements” between now and April 15th, when Daybell’s case begins.  

Should “improper media intrusion occur,” the order said the court must be informed immediately. 

Daybell was moved from the Fremont County Jail to the Ada County Jail last week to await trial. Jury selection is expected to begin Monday, April 1. 

Daybell, born in Provo, Utah, is being charged with first-degree murder for the death of his wife, Tammy Daybell. He also faces first-degree murder charges for the deaths of his wife, Lori Vallow Daybell’s children, Tylee Ryan and J.J Vallow. 

Lori Vallow Daybell, was charged with multiple fixed life terms in prison with no possibility of parole in July, 2023. 

Just a few months ago, in January, John Prior requested to be removed as Chad Daybell’s defense attorney, which Judge Boyce denied. 

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Judge orders gag order for upcoming Chad Daybell case