Lori Vallow won’t face death penalty; trial date approaches

Vallow’s defense argued that prosecution errors and the media’s influence mean the death penalty should be taken off the table.
Published: Mar. 21, 2023 at 11:01 AM MST
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FREMONT COUNTY, ID (3TV/CBS 5) -- Multiple reports indicate that Lori Vallow-Daybell won’t face the death penalty as her defense declares a victory just days before the start of her trial.

According to Arizona’s Family sister station in Idaho Falls, Idaho, KIDK, Vallow’s defense had argued that prosecution errors and the media’s influence means the death penalty should be taken off the table. Records showed that the motion was granted on Monday.

“Media saturation, multiple violations by the government, the government’s knowledge of my client’s mental health,” defense Jim Archibald reportedly said. “And the practical standpoint that Idaho has been trying to kill people on death row and hasn’t been able to do it because the Idaho Department of Corrections can’t get chemicals to kill people.”

Earlier this month, a Fremont County, Idaho judge severed the case of Vallow and Chad Daybell, which accuses them of the mysterious deaths two of Vallow’s children and Daybell’s former romantic partner. The former Valley mother and her husband are accused of killing her two children, 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow and 16-year-old Tylee Ryan, and Daybell’s first wife, Tammy Daybell. The bodies of the two children were found in Daybell’s backyard in Idaho in June 2020. Prosecutors say the couple used doomsday-focused religious beliefs to further a plan to kill her two children and his previous wife as part of a plot to steal Social Security funds and insurance money.

Vallow is also charged with conspiracy to commit murder in Arizona in connection with the death of Charles Vallow. Her previous husband was shot and killed by Lori’s brother, Alex Cox, who said it was self-defense. Cox later died of what police said were natural causes. Arizona’s Family previously reported that legal proceedings are on hold while the Idaho case is underway.

Vallow’s trial is scheduled to start on April 3. Experts say that the trial is expected to be shorter than usual as there won’t be a sentencing phase.