3 Years After Arrest, Judge Won't Dismiss Lori Vallow Case

Murder trial will open on April 3
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 14, 2023 5:24 PM CST
3 Years After Arrest, Judge Won't Dismiss Lori Vallow Case
Chad Daybell sits during a court hearing on Aug. 4, 2020, in St. Anthony, Idaho.   (John Roark/The Idaho Post-Register via AP, Pool, File)

Almost exactly three years after she was arrested in Hawaii in connection with the disappearance of her two children, a judge in Idaho has rejected Lori Vallow's motion to have her murder case dismissed for the lack for a speedy trial. Judge Steven Boyce ruled Monday that the trial will open on April 3, Fox reports. Boyce ruled that Idaho law has an exception to the right to a speedy trial when "a defendant's trial is postponed by their own application." He noted that Vallow's lawyers sought a competency evaluation in 2021 and she spent months being treated in a hospital before she was deemed fit to stand trial. The trial is expected to last 10 weeks and the death penalty is a possibility.

"The delay is, as a whole, minimal given the overall charges and maximum penalties imposed," Boyce wrote. Lori Vallow and husband Chad Daybell have pleaded not guilty to murder, conspiracy, and grand theft charges in connection with the deaths of 7-year-old Joshua "JJ" Vallow and Tylee Ryan, who was last seen alive days before her 17th birthday. They also face charges in connection with the October 2019 death of Daybell's former wife Tammy Daybell. The children's bodies were found on Daybell's property in June 2020. Daybell, unlike Vallow, has waived his right to a speedy trial, but Boyce has declined to split the case into two trials. Last month, the judge said the couple could not meet face-to-face to discuss strategy before the trial begins, the AP reports. (Read more Lori Vallow stories.)

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