Home U.S Idaho judge grants Chad Daybell, husband of 'doomsday cult' mom, request for...

Idaho judge grants Chad Daybell, husband of 'doomsday cult' mom, request for change of venue in murder trial

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An Idaho judge on Friday granted Chad Daybell, husband of “doomsday cult” mom Lori Vallow – both of whom are charged with multiple crimes, a change of venue for his murder trial amid the media attention surrounding the case. 

Judge Steven Boyce suggested the trial be moved from Fremont County to Ada County, according to the court order. 

LORI VALLOW, CHAD DAYBELL INDICTED ON MURDER CHARGES IN CONNECTION TO HER CHILDREN’S DEATHS

Chad Daybell enters the courtroom during his preliminary hearing in Fremont County on Monday, August 3, 2020. A judge has granted a change of venue for his murder trial. 

Chad Daybell enters the courtroom during his preliminary hearing in Fremont County on Monday, August 3, 2020. A judge has granted a change of venue for his murder trial. 
(Post Register/ John Roark, POOL)

“The Court has always found the citizens of Fremont County to be fair, attentive and dedicated jurors when called upon to fulfill that critically important civic duty,” Boyce wrote in his ruling. “The Court has no doubt that absent the extraordinary circumstances presented here, Fremont County would have been an ideal location for this trial, and an ideal jury pool from which to select triers of fact to determine this case. However, this is no ordinary case.”

Defense attorneys argued the media attention surrounding the trial may have prejudiced potential jurors. Prosecutors wanted to keep the trial in Fremont County but have jurors sequestered and chosen from elsewhere, which Boyce denied.

The judge said he considered multiple factors, including Fremont County’s small population, courtroom availability and facilities, security, staffing and media attendance, before making his ruling. 

“The Court concludes that Ada County would provide the best opportunity to conduct the trial in this case,” Boyce wrote. 

Lori Vallow glances at the camera during her March 6, 2020 hearing in Rexburg, Idaho. At her right is defense attorney Edwina Elcox. She is charged with felony child abandonment after her two children went missing nearly six months ago had her bond reduced to $1 million by an Idaho judge on Friday. Phoenix authorities said the death of her third husband, Joseph Ryan, was natural causes. 

Lori Vallow glances at the camera during her March 6, 2020 hearing in Rexburg, Idaho. At her right is defense attorney Edwina Elcox. She is charged with felony child abandonment after her two children went missing nearly six months ago had her bond reduced to $1 million by an Idaho judge on Friday. Phoenix authorities said the death of her third husband, Joseph Ryan, was natural causes. 
(AP)

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Daybell and Vallow face multiple criminal charges in connection with the deaths of her two children – Joshua “JJ” Vallow, 7, and his teenage sister, Tylee Ryan – and his former wife, Tammy Daybell. The remains of the children were found on Daybell’s Idaho property last year. 

Vallow also faces a conspiracy to commit first-degree murder charge in Arizona in connection to the July 2019 shooting death of her then-husband, 62-year-old Charles Vallow. 

A trial date for Daybell has not been set. Vallow’s case is on hold after she was deemed mentally unfit to stand trial.

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