Prosecutors will seek death penalty for ‘cult mom’ Lori Vallow
Couple believed that people could become ‘zombies’ if they were possessed by evil spirits
The Independent, UK/May 3, 2022
By Graeme Massie
Prosecutors will seek the death penalty in the child murder case against Idaho “cult mom” Lori Vallow.
Ms Vallow and her husband Chad Daybell are accused of murdering two of her children, seven-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow, 16-year-old Tylee Ryan, along with his first wife, Tammy Daybell.
Prosecuting attorneys from the state’s Fremont County and Madison County have now filed motions seeking the death penalty if Ms Vallow is convicted of “any of the counts of first degree murder and/or any of the counts of conspiracy to commit first degree murder.”
Mr Daybell was already facing the death penalty as punishment if convicted in his own trial.
In a separate motion, prosecutors have asked that Ms Vallow’s trial be moved from October 2022 to January 2023. Both trials are expected to last 10 weeks and both defendants have pleaded not guilty.
Ms Vallow’s case was initially postponed after a judge ruled her mentally incompetent to stand trial and ordered her to undergo treatment at a mental health facility. She has now been cleared to stand trial.
The children disappeared in 2019 and investigators later found dead on Mr Daybell’s property in Idaho in 2020.
When investigators began to search for the children the couple disappeared and were found months later in Hawaii without the children. Authorities have not revealed the cause of death, but court documents stated that Tylee’s body had been partially burned.
Friends of the couple told police that the couple believed in a doomsday system of religious beliefs, and that people could become “zombies” if they were possessed by evil spirits.
Idaho prosecutors say the couple used their bizarre beliefs to justify or encourage the murders.
Tammy Daybell died in October 2019, with her obituary stating that it was from natural causes. But investigators became susopicious when the suspects got mrried just two weeks later.
Officials had Tammy Daybell’s body exhumed for an autopsy but have not revealed the casue of her death.
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