PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - A judge in Idaho ruled that the former Arizona mother accused of killing her two kids and conspiring to kill two other people is still not competent to stand trial. Since June, Lori Vallow has been in restorative treatment after a licensed clinical psychologist deemed her incompetent to understand the charges against her. She was initially given 90 days of treatment, but after a doctor submitted a progress report to the court, the judge has extended her time in the state hospital for another 180 days.
"The judge is waiting to give more time to the doctors to look at Lori Vallow, to see whether or not she is competent, and the more time the doctors have, the more time to evaluate her and do a report in the future," said defense attorney Benjamin Taylor, who is not affiliated with the case. "Doctors are trained to look at the defendant, do various tests to see whether or not they are faking it--are they really not competent? And they're not mentally competent to stand trial?" The judge says her stay at the state hospital can be shortened if they receive another progress report that Lori has been mentally restored.
Chad Daybell, Lori's husband, also appeared in court next to his attorney on Wednesday. His attorney has asked for an extension due to not receiving certain documents yet. Daybell and his attorney are also asking for severance. "It's normal for a defense attorney to try to separate their client away from the bigger, bad actor," Taylor said.
The Daybells told CBS their dad used to be a gravedigger and the shallowness of each grave seems like a rookie mistake that Chad wouldn't make.
Last year, the judge ordered Lori and Chad to be codefendants. The newlyweds are facing charges for the deaths of Lori's two kids, JJ and Tylee, Chad's previous wife, Tammy Daybell, and Lori's previous husband, Charles Vallow.
"If the judge feels you're both in the same pot, you both are doing the same acts, then a lot of times a judge will keep both codefendants together. As a defense attorney, you have to show a big reason why your client should be separated and not involved with the other codefendant," Taylor explained. "If the two codefendants have totally separate defenses or they're pointing the finger at each other saying, 'no the other person did it,' and the other defendant is pointing their finger saying, 'no they did it,' that's when a judge will separate them."
Lori's case is stayed, or on pause, until her competency is restored. Chad's trial was set to begin two months from now. However, it will now be rescheduled after a change of venue hearing that will take place next month.