Idaho Jury Agrees on Death Penalty for Daybell

Victims' family members tell the court of their lasting pain
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 30, 2024 3:36 PM CDT
Updated Jun 1, 2024 1:34 PM CDT
Jury Convicts Chad Daybell of All Charges in Killings
Chad Daybell sits during a court hearing in August 2020 in St. Anthony, Idaho.   (John Roark/The Idaho Post-Register via AP, Pool, File)
UPDATE Jun 1, 2024 1:34 PM CDT

A jury in Idaho unanimously decided Saturday on a death sentence for Chad Daybell, who was convicted this week in the deaths of his wife and his girlfriend's two youngest children, ending a grim case that began with a search for the missing children in 2019. Family members read victim impact statements on Friday, NBC News reports. Ron Douglas, the father of Tammy Daybell, Chad Daybell's wife, said, "It destroys me to know Tammy was treated the way she was." Kay Woodcock, Joshua "JJ" Vallow's grandmother, told the court, "There's a hole in my heart and the hearts of every member of my family that can never be filled and will remain for the rest of our life." Daybell did not present any mitigating evidence during the sentencing hearing, per the AP.

May 30, 2024 3:36 PM CDT

An Idaho jury has convicted Chad Daybell of murder in the deaths of his wife and his girlfriend's two youngest children. The guilty verdict on all charges marks the end of a yearslong investigation that included bizarre claims of zombie children, apocalyptic prophesies, and illicit affairs. Now the jury will be tasked with deciding if Daybell should be sentenced to death for the crimes, the AP reports. Prosecutors had said they would seek the death penalty if Daybell was convicted.

Prosecutors charged Daybell and his newest wife, Lori Vallow Daybell, with multiple counts of murder, conspiracy, and grand theft in connection with the deaths of Vallow Daybell's two youngest children, 7-year-old Joshua "JJ" Vallow and 16-year-old Tylee Ryan, in September 2019. Prosecutors also charged the couple in connection with the October 2019 death of Chad Daybell's wife, Tammy Daybell. Chad Daybell's attorney argued there was not enough evidence to tie him to the killings and suggested Vallow Daybell's older brother, Alex Cox, was the killer. Lori Vallow Daybell was sentenced to life in prison without parole in 2023. She has been extradited to Arizona to face charges in the death of her fourth husband, Charles Vallow, per CBS News.

(More Chad Daybell stories.)

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