Lori Valau Deibel listens as the jury’s verdict finding her guilty of all six felonies is read at the Ada County Courthouse in Boise. Her sentencing is set for July 31 in St. Anthony, Idaho.
In two months, Judge Steven Boyce of the 7th Judicial District of Idaho will decide whether to sentence Laurie Wellau Daybell to life in prison.
Earlier this month, a jury found the 49-year-old mother, who moved to Idaho in the summer of 2019, guilty of first-degree murder of her two children after a six-week trial and just seven hours of deliberation. Wallow Daybell was also convicted of three counts of conspiracy to murder the children and Tammy Daybell, then the wife of Wallow Daybell’s husband, Chad. She was also found guilty of grand larceny for continuing to collect Social Security and childcare benefits after the children died.
Vallow Daybell will face sentencing at 9 a.m. July 31 at the Fremont County Courthouse in St. Anthony, Idaho, according to a notice of hearing. Members of the public can also watch Wallow Daybell’s sentencing live on Judge Boyce’s YouTube channel.
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Wallow Daybell no longer faces the death penalty after Boise revoked it as an option weeks before her trial began in Boise. Boyce said the prosecution had submitted thousands of documents and evidence past the court’s deadline, and that the death penalty should be overturned to preserve Wallow Daybell’s right to a fair trial.
The children’s remains were found in Chad Daybell’s yard
Three years ago, authorities found the remains of 7-year-old Joshua Jackson “JJ” Wallow and 16-year-old Tylee Ryan buried in shallow graves in the backyard of Wallow Daybell’s husband, Chad Daybell. Investigators in the case have uncovered messages, tapes and witness testimony that show the couple believed her children were “demons” who needed to be “exorcised” — or killed, according to witness statements.
The Daybells were members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and held a fringe belief that dark spirits could possess bodies and should be cast out.
Chad Daybell — whose trial date has not been set but is expected to take place next year — is also charged with murder and conspiracy to kill Tylee and JJ. He also faces an additional charge of first-degree murder in the death of Tammy Daybell.
In order to find Wellow Daybell guilty of first degree murder for JJ and Tylee, the jury would have had to find that she killed her children or encouraged or ordered someone to do so. Prosecutors said in the indictment that the Daybells professed religious beliefs “for the purpose of justifying” or encouraging the killings.
“No one here is charged because of their religious beliefs,” Madison County District Attorney Rob Wood said during the trial. “They are accused of using those religious beliefs to kill.”
After Wallow Daybell was convicted and transferred to an Idaho Department of Corrections prison, officials plan to extradite her to Arizona, where she faces two counts of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder.
Police said they believe Wallow Daybell, along with her brother Alex Cox, conspired to kill her fourth husband, Charles Wallow, and tried to shoot their niece’s ex-husband, Brandon Boudreau. Cox died in December 2019 from a blood clot.
This story was originally published May 24, 2023 3:40 p.m.