Judge finds there is probable cause for Chad Daybell to stand trial

Judge finds there is probable cause for Chad Daybell to stand trial

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) -Testimony is over in the hearing to decide if Chad Daybell will stand trial on charges that he and his wife, Lori Vallow Daybell, hid evidence concerning what happened to her two children, J.J. and Tylee.

The testimony and closing arguments wrapped up around 4:30, in the preliminary hearing. And after a brief recess the judge came back with his decision: Chad Daybell will stand trial.

Judge Faren Eddins, in Idaho, took a few minutes to review his notes and came back into the courtroom with his decision.

"The court finds that the state has met its burden of probable cause and I find that there is probable or sufficient cause to believe that the defendant Chad Daybell committed the offenses counts one through four, as designated in the criminal complaint. I will bind the defendant over to the district court," said the judge. Arraignment is set for 9 a.m., August 21.

Kay and Larry Woodcock of Lake Charles, who are grandparents of J.J. Vallow, were in the courtroom as the judge announced his decision and were clearly elated.

Evidence considered by the judge included testimony of FBI agents there on Daybell's property when the remains of the children were recovered.

FBI Special Agent Steve Daniels gave disturbing testimony about the state if the remains.

"It was pieces, so, dismembered and then those pieces were put in a body bag. The coroner was there, sealed up by the coroner and then removed from the scene," he testified.

The judge also heard an FBI analyst read a text message Daybell sent to his late wife Tammy Daybell on the day Tylee Ryan’s remains were allegedly buried on their property.

“I spotted a big raccoon against the fence. I hurried and got my gun while he was still walking along. I got close enough that one shot did the trick. He is now in our pet cemetery. Fun times,” Daybell texted his wife, as read by FBI analyst Benjamin Dean.

Earlier testimony included Lori Vallow’s former best friend, Melanie Gibb, who Chad Daybell allegedly asked to be uncooperative with police. Daybell’ s defense attorney, John Prior, tried to challenge her credibility by bringing out she was not honest with police at first. He asked her what she had first told a police officer about whether she had J.J.

"I told him that I had him and then I didn't have him," said Gibb.

"So, the initial time that you told him that you had J.J., that was not a truthful statement to Officer Pillar, was it?" asked Prior.

“Correct,” replied Gibb.

“When you tell a statement that is not accurate to a police officer, that’s a lie, is it not?” asked Prior.

“Correct,” said Gibb.

“So, you lied to a police officer, is that correct?” asked Prior.

“Correct,” said Gibb.

Lori Vallow will have the same type of hearing Monday in Idaho.

Copyright 2020 KPLC. All rights reserved.