Idaho jury begins deliberations in murder trial of Lori Vallow Daybell

Published: May. 11, 2023 at 8:33 PM CDT
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Boise, Idaho (KPLC) - The jury began deliberations today in the first-degree murder trial of Lori Vallow Daybell, charged with the murder of her two children and her husband’s former wife.

In closing arguments, the state argued that Lori Vallow is the thread that connects the deaths of J.J. Vallow, Tylee Ryan and Tammy Daybell.

Prosecutor Rob Wood told jurors the case is about money, power and sex. He said Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell set in motion events driven by Lori’s desire for money, power, and sex.

He told jurors, “This plan must end today in the verdicts you render.”

“We heard a lot about religion. It does not matter what they believed. It matters what they did. They can believe whatever they want, but when they use that to justify homicide, that changes. They used religion as a tool to manipulate others. Lori manipulated Alex Cox through religion. She manipulated Chad through emotional and sexual control,” said Wood.

The defense attorney Jim Archibald portrayed her as a naïve woman who loved Jesus more than anything and became caught up in Chad Daybell’s religious teachings of evil spirits and zombies. He said Lori followed Chad, and Chad was led by “the storm,” a euphemism they used in text messages for their sexual attraction to each other.

“Is Lori a leader or is she a follower of Chad? She so wants to be a leader, but she’s not leading anyone. She’s following Chad. She thinks Chad is following Jesus, but he’s not. He’s unfortunately being led by the storm. Not the first guy to be led by the storm,” said Archibald.

On rebuttal, Wood showed jurors a graphic that listed, “Lies Lori told.” He told jurors, “The innocent don’t need to lie. The guilty lie.”

The jury will resume deliberations at 10 a.m. Central time Friday.