Day 2: Detective only witness during second day of Chad Daybell trial

Apr 11, 2024, 7:00 PM | Updated: 7:17 pm

chad daybell and lawyer...

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


BOISE, Idaho — On the second day in the trial of 55-year-old Chad Daybell, the first witness called was Ray Hermosillo, a detective with the Rexburg, Idaho, Police Department.

The cross-examination was brief but established that Alex Cox  and Lori Vallow were with J.J. Vallow on the last day he was known to be alive.

Background for Daybell trial

Chad Daybell is on trial, accused of the murder of his first wife, Tammy Daybell. He is also charged in the deaths of Tylee Ryan, 16, and J.J. Vallow, 7, the youngest children of his wife, Lori Vallow Daybell.

She was found guilty of all charges related to the killing of her children. On July 31, 2023, Vallow Daybell was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole.

Daybell’s defense attorney, John Prior did what he could to keep his client out of the picture as much as possible, at least for what appears to be the last day alive for J.J. Vallow.

Prior alluded to the fact that he, too, had subpoenaed Hermosillo to testify.

There is probably no reason why the defense would recall the state’s lead detective, but it sounded good in front of the jury, especially given the brief cross-examination —  an “I’m not done with you” moment.

Counsel spoke with Judge Steven Boyce at sidebar, a common occurrence with Boyce — probably happening more than 20 times during the first two days of Daybell’s murder trial.

The attorneys and judge are trying to establish which exhibits have been admitted through the first and only witness to testify so far.

Hermosillo also testified in Lori Vallow Daybell’s trial.

Trial moving ‘quicker than expected’

By Thursday afternoon, the court had adjourned for the day and the week. Thursday was an abbreviated day.

The state called one witness.

Judge Boyce mentioned that “the trial, including jury selection has gone quicker than expected.”

The court set aside two weeks for jury selection, even though it took three and a half days.

Rather than use that time to move the trial forward, the judge took most of last Friday off, Monday afternoon off, all of Tuesday, and will take all of Friday (April 12) off. 

Court is scheduled to begin again Monday at 8:30 a.m. 

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Day 2: Detective only witness during second day of Chad Daybell trial