Lori Vallow Daybell’s triple-murder case halted to determine if she is mentally competent to stand trial

An Idaho judge has postponed the trial of a woman accused of was conspiring to kill her two youngest children and the wife of her fifth husband until officials can determine if she is mentally competent.

Seventh Circuit Judge Stephen Boyce made the ruling Thursday, days after defense attorneys for Lori Vallow Debel asked to dismiss the case. Documents detailing the request were sealed and a brief hearing on the matter was closed to the public.

The trial was set for next January.

Both Vallow Daybell and her husband, Chad Daybell, have pleaded not guilty in charges. The curious details of the case have drawn attention from around the world.

Idaho police began investigating the couple in November 2019 after extended family members reported her two youngest children, Joshua “JJ” Vallow and Tylee Ryan, missing. At the time, JJ Vallow was 7 years old and Tylee Ryan was approaching her 17th birthday.

Daybell and Vallow Daybell had married just two weeks after his previous wife, Tammy Daybell, died unexpectedly. The children’s bodies were later found buried on his property in rural eastern Idaho.

The couple was eventually charged with murder, conspiracy and grand larceny in connection with the deaths of Daybell’s children and wife. They have pleaded not guilty and may face the death penalty if convicted.

APTOPIX Missing Children-Mom Arrested
Lori Vallow appears in court in Lihue, Hawaii on Wednesday, February 26, 2020.

Dennis FujimotoThe Garden Island via AP, Pool

Prosecutors say the pair promoted unusual religious beliefs to further the alleged murder plots. Vallow Daybell’s ex-husband, Charles Vallow, died while the two were estranged, but he had said in divorce papers that Vallow Daybell believed he was a divine figure responsible for ushering in the apocalyptic end times. Daybell has written fiction books centered on Doomsday and recorded podcasts about the preparation for the apocalypse.

Friends of the couple told law enforcement investigators that the couple believed people could be possessed by dark spirits and that Vallow Daybell referred to her children as “zombies,” a term used to describe those who were possessed. .

Vallow Daybell is also charged with conspiracy to commit murder in Arizona in connection with Vallow’s death. Her previous husband was shot and killed by Vallow Deibel’s brother, Alex Cox, who said it was self-defence. Cox later died of natural causes, police said.

The Arizona legal proceedings are on hold while the Idaho case is ongoing, and Vallow Deibel is not scheduled to speak in the Arizona case.

It’s the second time Idaho’s case against Vallow Daybell has been put on hold. The criminal case was dismissed in 2021 after she was declared incompetent to stand trial and committed to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare for treatment. It was be declared competent 10 months later.

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