Lori Vallow Found Unfit to Stand Trial

Meanwhile, charges are submitted against her in the death of her former husband
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 28, 2021 6:16 AM CDT
Lori Vallow Found Unfit to Stand Trial
In this March 6, 2020, file photo, Lori Vallow Daybell, left, glances at the camera during her hearing, in Rexburg, Idaho.   (John Roark/The Idaho Post-Register via AP, Pool, File)

Lori Vallow, charged this week with killing her two children, has been found incompetent to stand trial on previous charges related to the deaths. She and husband Chad Daybell pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to destroy, alter, or conceal evidence after the remains of 7-year-old Joshua "JJ" Vallow and 17-year-old Tylee Ryan were found on Daybell's Idaho property last June. Vallow's case has been stayed since a psychological assessment was requested in March. And on Thursday, Fremont County Judge Steven Boyce issued another stay, saying the assessment found Vallow "is not competent to proceed." He also issued a stay in the case in which Vallow is charged with two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, and grand theft by deception in the deaths, per USA Today. Daybell faces those same charges.

There is no "insanity defense" in Idaho, where defendants must understand the charges against them and assist in their defense, but a person found incompetent to stand trial can be held in jail or a state mental hospital, per KTVB. Prosecutors dispute the assessment by a licensed clinical psychologist, which recommends "restorative treatment." Boyce said the stay would remain until a later hearing on the issue. The decision came as Arizona police submitted a charge of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder against Vallow in the death of her fourth husband, Charles, per KNXV. She is already charged with conspiracy to commit murder in the death of Daybell's former wife, Tammy, whom Daybell is charged with killing. But a judge rescheduled Vallow's Wednesday court appearance upon request from her lawyer. Daybell's formal arraignment was set for June 9. (More Lori Vallow stories.)

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