June 12th, 2024

Chad Daybell sentenced to death for killing wife and girlfriend’s 2 children in jury decision

By The Associated Press on June 1, 2024.

BOISE, Idaho (AP) – Chad Daybell has been sentenced to death for the murders of his wife and his girlfriend’s two youngest children in Idaho.

The sentence was handed down Saturday after an Idaho jury unanimously agreed that imposing the death penalty would be a just resolution to the triple-murder case. The sentence marks the end of a grim investigation that began with a search for two missing children in 2019. The next year their bodies were found buried in Daybell’s eastern Idaho yard.

Both Daybell and his new wife, Lori Vallow Daybell, were charged with multiple counts of murder, conspiracy and grand theft in connection with the deaths of Vallow Daybell’s two youngest children, 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow and 16-year-old Tylee Ryan. They were also charged with conspiracy and murder for the death of Daybell’s first wife, Tammy Daybell.

During a nearly two-month-long trial, prosecutors said Chad Daybell promoted unusual spiritual beliefs including apocalyptic prophecies and tales of possession by evil spirits in order to justify the killings.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.

BOISE, Idaho (AP) – Jurors resumed deliberations Saturday on whether a man should be sentenced to death after being convicted days earlier of the murders of his wife and his girlfriend’s two youngest children in Idaho.

Jurors were deciding whether Chad Daybell should be executed or sentenced to life in prison for the triple-murder case, which began with a search for two missing children in 2019. The next year, their bodies were found buried in Daybell’s eastern Idaho yard.

Both Daybell and his new wife, Lori Vallow Daybell, were charged with multiple counts of murder, conspiracy and grand theft in connection with the deaths of Vallow Daybell’s two youngest children, 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow and 16-year-old Tylee Ryan. They were also charged with conspiracy and murder for the death of Daybell’s first wife, Tammy Daybell.

During a nearly two-month-long trial, prosecutors said Daybell promoted unusual spiritual beliefs including apocalyptic prophecies and tales of possession by evil spirits in order to justify the killings.

He was convicted on Thursday. Family members of the victims gave emotional statements to the jurors before they began deliberations Friday afternoon on the sentencing phase of the trial.

Daybell’s defense attorney, John Prior, argued during the trial that there wasn’t enough evidence to tie Daybell to the killings, and suggested Vallow Daybell’s older brother, Alex Cox, was the culprit. Cox died in late 2019 and was never charged, and Vallow Daybell was convicted last year and sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Idaho law allows for execution by lethal injection or firing squad, though firing squad executions have never been used in the state.

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