BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A woman charged in Idaho with killing her two youngest children and her new husband’s previous wife will be tried alongside her husband and their trial has been delayed until early next year because the judge says that will give her lawyers enough time to effectively prepare a defense.
Judge Steven Boyce on Thursday ruled that delaying Lori Vallow Daybell’s trial another 90 days to Jan. 9 would not violate her rights for a speedy trial.
Vallow and her husband Chad Daybell have pleaded not guilty and could face the death penalty if they are convicted.
The Daybells are charged with murder, conspiracy and grand theft in connection with the deaths of 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow and 17-year-old Tylee Ryan.
Idaho law enforcement began investigating the Daybells in November 2019 after extended family members reported the children were missing. While the children were missing, police said the couple lied about the children’s whereabouts. Their bodies were found buried later on Chad Daybell’s property in rural Idaho.
Chad and Lori Daybell married just two weeks after his previous wife, Tammy Daybell, died unexpectedly. Tammy Daybell’s death was initially reported as “natural causes,” but investigators had her body exhumed after growing suspicious when Chad Daybell quickly remarried.
Lori Vallow Daybell is also charged with conspiracy to commit murder in Arizona in connection with the death of her previous husband. Charles Vallow was shot and killed by Lori Daybell’s brother, Alex Cox, who claimed it was self-defense. Cox later died of what police said was natural causes.
Vallow in April entered a “not guilty” plea and invoked her right to a speedy trial, which legally needed to take place by October. That complicated plans for a combined trial for her and her husband.
On May 19, prosecutors asked that Vallow’s trial be postponed until Jan. 9. Prosecutors expressed concern that if Vallow was separately in October that an “improper severance” would happen with the couple’s cases.
Boyce also expressed concern whether Vallow’s recently appointed attorneys had enough time to prepare for the trial and said the 90-day delay would give them more. He noted that prosecutors have worked on the case since 2020.