Lori Vallow trial finally set to begin

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After several days, the long-awaited trial for Lori Vallow Daybell is set to begin in Idaho. Lori and her husband are accused of killing her children.

PHOENIX — A shocking murder case that started to unfold right here in the Valley could finally be reaching its end. Lori Vallow and her husband Chad Daybell are accused of killing her children, Tylee and JJ.

After years of difficult court proceedings, Vallow’s trial is set to begin. Jury selection starts Monday and is expected to take several days. Victims and the public will only be able to watch certain parts of the process if they’re physically in Idaho.

RELATED: Lori Vallow defense wants some family excluded from trial

Lori Vallow was moved to Ada County Jail in Boise, Idaho ahead of her trial. The change in venue from eastern Idaho, where the murders allegedly happened, was a judge’s decision to try and get a fair jury in the high-profile case.

Vallow and her husband are facing a string of similar charges, including the murder of her two children. Police believe that Vallow moved her kids from Arizona to Idaho in September 2019.

Weeks later, the children disappeared, setting off a nationwide search at the end of that year.

In February 2020, Vallow was arrested while on a trip to Hawaii with Daybell after she failed to produce her kids in court. And in March of that same year, she was extradited to Idaho.

Just a few months later, Tylee and JJ’s bodies were found buried in Chad Daybell’s backyard. Within hours, Daybell was taken into custody. And in May of 2021, the couple was charged with the murder of the children as well as other felony charges connected to their deaths, and the death of Daybell’s first wife, Tammy Daybell.

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It’s believed that Vallow moved to Idaho to be closer to Daybell; a man who, records claim, led a small religious doomsday cult. And those dark beliefs appear to be at the center of this case, with Vallow allegedly believing that her children’s spirits went “dark” before their deaths.

A preliminary hearing for Chad Daybell in August 2020 gave the public a taste of what the trial could look like. Several law enforcement witnesses, as well as former friends from Daybell and Vallow’s religious circle, were called to take the stand. 

However, access to Vallow’s trial will be restricted after a judge banned cameras in the courtroom last year.

One person the public won’t be hearing from at Vallow’s trial is her late brother, Alex Cox.

Investigators believe he played a role in the kids’ deaths as well, with records showing it was his cell phone that pointed investigators to Tylee and JJ’s bodies in Daybell’s yard.

Cox died at his Gilbert home in December 2019, just months before the kids’ bodies were found. The medical examiner says “natural causes” were to blame.

And earlier that same year, back in July, Cox shot and killed Vallow’s fourth husband, Charles Vallow, in Chandler – just before she took the kids to Idaho.

Vallow now faces a conspiracy charge in that case here in Arizona. But before she goes to court for that charge, the situation in Idaho needs to play out.

Part of the reason the case has taken so long is that a judge found Vallow “not competent to stand trial,” not just once, but twice. Those decisions meant that Vallow had to undergo multiple mental health evaluations before the judge ultimately ruled that she was competent enough to proceed with the trial.

Initially, the couple was supposed to be tried together, but the cases were separated back in March after Daybell’s attorney successfully argued for more time to prepare.

Daybell’s trial has not yet been rescheduled.

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Lori Vallow trial finally set to begin

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