Lori Vallow Daybell trial updates: ‘Cult mom’ refuses to give defense after court sees poolside video

Lori Vallow trial: Gilbert detective testifies

“Doomsday cult mom” Lori Vallow has made a shock decision not to offer any defense in her high-profile trial for the murders of her two children and new husband’s wife.

The 49-year-old is charged with first-degree murder, conspiracy, and grand theft over the deaths of her daughter Tylee Ryan, 16, son Joshua “JJ” Vallow, 7, and her new husband Chad Daybell’s first wife Tammy, 49 .

Tylee and JJ were last seen alive in September 2019. In June 2020, their remains were found buried on the Daybell property. Tammy died one month after their disappearance in October 2019.

On Tuesday, the prosecution rested its case after calling around 60 witnesses over the last five weeks – with jurors seeing footage of Ms Vallow relaxing and sunbathing poolside with Mr Daybell in Hawaii when authorities served her with court papers to present her children to authorities.

When it was the defense’s turn to begin its case, Ms Vallow’s attorney Jim Archibald abruptly told the court that “we don’t believe the state has proven its case so the defense rests”.

Closing arguments will get under way in Ada County Courthouse in Boise, Idaho, on Thursday before the jury begins deliberations.


What charges do Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell face?

Ms Vallow and Mr Daybell were charged with the murders of Tylee and JJ in May 2021 – almost one year after their bodies had been discovered.

They are each charged with first-degree murder, conspiracy and grand theft in connection with the deaths of JJ and Tylee and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder in the death of Tammy. Mr Daybell is also charged with the first-degree murder of Tammy.

The couple are also charged with related financial crimes with Ms Vallow facing grand theft and insurance fraud counts for applying for Social Security benefits for Tylee and JJ after they died.

Prosecutors say that the couple conspired with Cox to kill the children and Mr Daybell’s wife both as part of their doomsday beliefs – but also to collect life insurance money and the kids’ social security and survivor benefits.

“All of these overt acts were done so Lori could eventually be with Chad Daybell and reportedly completed their mission here on earth,” according to an investigative report.

“This belief system, lust and greed would also lead to the deaths of Tylee Ryan, JJ Vallow and Tammy Daybell.”

In Arizona, Ms Vallow is also charged with conspiring to murder her ex-husband Charles Vallow with Cox.

The Maricopa County Attorney’s office announced that it did not charge Mr Daybell as well with Charles’ murder – but only because there was “no reasonable likelihood of conviction”.

Andrea BlancoMay 11, 2023 12:00


As Lori Vallow Daybell ‘doomsday cult’ murder trial nears an end, what have we learned?

The Independents‘s Rachel Sharp delves into the deeply disturbing tale of suspected murders, unexplained deaths and apocalyptic cult beliefs about killing zombies which surround her and her doomsday author husband Chad Daybell:

Andrea BlancoMay 11, 2023 11:00


Lori Vallow’s disturbing texts revealed: ‘A reason to scream’

Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell exchanged texts in which they discussed causing pain to children and giving them “a reason to scream”, the jury heard at her trial for murder.

The Independents‘s Oliver O’Connell has more:

Andrea BlancoMay 11, 2023 10:00


Lori Vallow’s friend says she threatened to ‘cut up’ and bury her one month after the children disappeared

Audrey Barattiero claims Lori Vallow burst into laughter and told her ‘there would be blood and bleach and something about trash bags. She would bury me in a place nobody would ever find me’

Andrea BlancoMay 11, 2023 09:00


Lori Vallow ignored stepsons’ pleas as she exchanged romantic texts with Chad Daybell after her husband’s death

As Charles Vallow’s sons begged for information about their father’s death, “cult mom” Lori Vallow exchanged texts with new love.

The Independents‘s Oliver O’Connell reports:

Andrea BlancoMay 11, 2023 08:00


WATCH: Bikini-clad Lori Vallow is served court papers for missing kids as she sits by Hawaii resort pool in new video

Lori Vallow: Video shows ‘doomsday mom’ in Hawaii as police serve court order

Andrea BlancoMay 11, 2023 07:00


Lori Vallow’s DNA found on duct tape wrapped around son JJ’s corpse, a jury hears

Lori Vallow’s hair was found on duct tape wrapped around the corpse of her seven-year-old son, according to new evidence presented at the start of the fifth week of her murder trial.

Andrea BlancoMay 11, 2023 06:00


Lori Vallow’s chilling internet searches and trove of burner phones revealed at murder trial

Chilling internet searches have revealed that “doomsday cult mom” Lori Vallow shopped for life insurance policies for her children two months before they were murdered and buried on her new lover Chad Daybell’s property.

Jurors heard how Ms Vallow’s “lollytime4ever” Gmail account was used in July 2019 to google “gerber life insurance policy” and “life insurance for children – the Grow-Up Plan”.

Gerber Life Insurance’s Grow-Up Plan is advertised on its website as a plan with “locked-in childhood premium”, with coverage that “will automatically double at no extra cost”.

“Give them $50,000 in coverage today and watch it become $100,000 during age 18,” it read.

Agent Heideman tested that – a few days after the search – the same Gmail account searched for how to sell a service dog.

At the time, Ms Vallow’s two youngest children Tylee Ryan, 16, and Joshua “JJ” Vallow, seven, were still alive and well. JJ, who had autism, used a service dog.

Two months later, in September 2019, the children vanished without a trace.

Tylee was last seen alive on September 8 2019 when she, JJ, Ms Vallow and Ms Vallow’s brother Alex Cox went to Yellowstone National Park. JJ then disappeared weeks later on September 22 2019, when he suddenly vanished from his mother’s house overnight.

In June 2020, the remains of the two children were found buried on Mr Daybell’s property.

Andrea BlancoMay 11, 2023 05:00


Chad Daybell says wife Tammy is ‘clearly dead’ in disturbing 911 call weeks before he married Lori Vallow

Chad Daybell made a chilling 911 call saying that his wife Tammy was “clearly dead” after he had allegedly conspired with Lori Vallow to murder her so they could run off to Hawaii to get married.

The 911 call, from October 19 2019, was played to jurors at Ms Vallow’s trial in Boise, Idaho, where the so-called “doomsday cult mom” is charged with the murders of Tammy and her two children Joshua “JJ” Vallow, seven , and Tylee Ryan, 16.

In the call, one of Tammy’s sons tells the dispatcher they have just found his 49-year-old mother on the ground “frozen”.

“We just found my mom. She’s on the ground frozen… or she’s stiff. I don’t know,” he says.

Mr. Daybell, who is standing trial separately for the murders at a later date, then comes on the phone and makes an abrupt statement about his wife.

“I’m Chad, the husband. She’s clearly dead,” he says.

Mr Daybell appears to be crying in the call as he says the phrases “oh no,” “oh man” and “she’s frozen”.

Now, he is accused of killing her by asphyxiation so he could marry Ms Vallow, they could get access to Tammy’s life insurance money and in pursuit of their cult beliefs.

Tammy was an otherwise healthy 49-year-old when she died suddenly that day – around a month after Ms Vallow’s two children JJ and Tylee were allegedly murdered and buried on Chad Daybell’s property in Rexburg, Idaho.

At the time, Mr. Daybell declined an autopsy for his wife and her mysterious death was the ruler’s natural causes.

Weeks later – on 5 November 2019 – Mr Daybell and Ms Vallow flew to Hawaii and got married on a beach.

Andrea BlancoMay 11, 2023 04:00


Why wasn’t Melani Pawlowski indicted?

Addressing doubts on why Lori’s niece Melani Pawlowski was not charged in connection with the murders of JJ and Tylee, Law&Crime producer Cathy Russo said she believed the prosecution likely didn’t think they couldn’t build a strong case against Ms Pawlowski.

“It’s ridiculous what some of these women around Lori believed,” Ms Russo said. “And Melanie knew when Lori said, ‘It’s coming to an end this week,’ when talking about Charles and the demon coming out of Charles’ body … These women, Zulema and Melanie, they participated in these castings.”

“I think she’s a wild card and it wasn’t worth putting her in the stand.”

Andrea BlancoMay 11, 2023 03:00

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