NewsLocal NewsThe Trial of Chad Daybell


RECAP: Court sentences Chad Daybell to death

Chad Daybell Guilty
Posted at 10:38 AM, May 31, 2024

BOISE, Idaho — On May 30, Chad Daybell was found guilty on all counts for the murders of Tylee Ryan, JJ Vallow, and Tammy Daybell. On Saturday June 1, based on the jury's decision, the court sentenced Chad Daybell to death.

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

To impose the death penalty, the jurors had to unanimously find that Daybell met at least one of the “aggravating circumstances” that state law says qualifies someone for capital punishment. They also had to agree that those aggravating factors weren’t outweighed by any mitigating factors that might have lessened his culpability or justified a lesser sentence.

12:32 pm: Court is adjourned.

12:25 pm: Court gives Chad Daybell 15 years each for both counts 7 and 9.

12:25 pm: Prosecutors ask that Chad Daybell pay more than $400k back to two insurance companies, and the judge will hold a separate hearing on how much will ultimately be owed.

12:15 pm: The jury has returned to the courtroom, where Judge Boyce confirms Chad Daybell will be sentenced to death on counts 1-6.

11:30 am: The jury has found Chad Daybell is eligible to be sentenced to death for all three victims on counts 1-6, and the court has now gone into a short recess.

10:45 am: A verdict has been reached and is scheduled to be read at 11:15 am.

10:20 am: John Prior, Larry and Kay Woodcock, and Vicki Hoban have arrived along with Detective Hermosillo and another detective.

9:50 am: A few members from prosecutors team have arrived at court as well as a few relatives of Tammy Daybell.

8:30 am: Jurors have resumed deliberations on Saturday, June 1st. Idaho News 6 has crews at the courthouse monitoring the proceedings and will provide updates throughout the day.

7:51 pm: The jurors have retired for the night with no decision, the deliberations will resume at 8:30 am tomorrow.

6:15 pm: Kaitlyn Hart with our partners at East Idaho News says spectators were asked to move from an area close to the courtroom, but there is no news as to a decision yet.

5:27 pm: Deliberations have been ongoing for over 3 hours now as jurors work to determine if Chad Daybell will face the death penalty.

2:01 pm: Judge Boyce directs the jury to begin their deliberation process.

2:00 pm: Prior finishes his closing statements.

1:58 pm: Prior reminds the jury that they need to find that there were actions beyond human decency, explaining that murder on its own is not enough to invoke the death penalty.

1:56 pm: Prior begins his closing statements, explaining Chad's religious beliefs are more to blame than money for his actions.

1:54 pm: Blake says that Chad did whatever he could to end up on a beach with Lori Vallow. She closes her statement by asking the jury what they think is right as they consider Chad's severe disregard for the sanctity of the lives of those close to him.

1:53 pm: Blake restates that Tylee's cause of death remains unknown due to the state of her burned and dismembered body.

1:51 pm: Blake highlights the $430,000 in life insurance money Chad collected after Tammy's death. She also adds that his lifestyle was funded by money taken by Lori Vallow from JJ and Tylee's social security accounts.

1:41 pm: Lindsey Blake is presenting closing arguments for the state. A presentation displaying the timeline of events is projected in the courtroom.

1:40 pm: Judge Boyce instructs the jurors on the process moving forward, stressing that they will need to come to their own conclusions about the case and the sentence.

1:29 pm: Michael finishes his statement and is the last to make an impact statement.

1:25 pm: "We have relatives, children that have joined the family, that we have not been allowed to meet because of this train wreck that you're all a part of," says Michael. "I have had my peace stolen. And I have to fight every day to be patient and kind with others and myself."

1:17 pm: Chad Daybell's eyes are fixated on his interlocked fingers as Michael continues to sob and describe his grief.

1:16 pm: "The nightmare that I have been provided will last me a lifetime," says Michael. "As the big brother, I've felt, and I feel like a failure. I failed to protect Tammy. I looked for a silver lining as we do as big brothers, trying to set up some kind of win, and none to be found."

1:14 pm: When the children's bodies were found, Michael says that he "broke into more pieces than he can count." He says he was crying hysterically at work, and had to be rushed to an office.

1:13 pm: Michael recalls learning of the missing children, explaining that his heart sank as he dreaded what could have happened. He hoped for any other explanation but says he was wrong again.

1:12 pm: Michael's voice cracks as he says "When we found out about the exhumation, I hoped that there was nothing to be found. I never wanted someone to be more wrong than I wanted Aunt Vicky to be wrong. But it was me that was wrong again."

1:11 pm: Michael recalls hearing the news of Tammy's death from Samantha. He says he tried to keep people from jumping to conclusions but regrets not "doing more jumping."

1:10 pm: Michael Douglas, Tammy's oldest brother, now speaks in the courtroom.

1:08 pm: Samantha says Tammy should be smiling with her family and friends, doting on her grandchildren. Samantha closes by saying her sister should not be dead right now.

1:06 pm: Samantha explains that she feels she would not be a good sister if she didn't fight for her. She is frustrated that Tammy was described as lazy and sick in the courtroom during the trial and denies these comments outright.

1:05 pm: Samantha says Tammy was her sister and her best friend. Before Tammy's move to Idaho, they spoke every day. Samantha describes her sister as a force for positivity and explains that she loved being a mother and having a family.

1:04 pm: Samantha refers to her sister, saying "She is dead, and others who were supposed to stand up for her, protect her, and love her did not. From the moment I found out she was gone, I have never felt peace."

1:03 pm: Samantha Gwilliam, Tammy Daybell's sister, speaks next.

1:02 pm: "I stand here today, motherless, fatherless, sisterless, and brotherless. The only course forward is to trust in Christ, knowing that he has them in his arms. And wait for the day that we all meet again," says Colby as he finishes his impact statement.

1:00 pm: Colby says the loss of JJ and Tylee can only be described as a nuclear bomb dropping on his life. He sobs as he describes JJ's unique and goofy personality which he will never get to share with the world.

12:58 pm: Colby says he's lost everything he's ever known. His voice breaks as he says his children will never get to know the warmth of Tylee and JJ.

12:57 pm: Colby explains that it is hard to put into words what it means for him to have lost his entire family, to have lost the ability to watch his siblings grow up.

12:54 pm: The victim impact statements continue as Colby Ryan takes the stand. Colby is Tylee and JJ's brother, and Lori Vallow's son.

12:18 pm: As Ben finishes his statement, Judge Boyce calls for a brief break.

12:16 pm: Ben Douglas, who is Tammy's youngest brother and is married to Kelsee, speaks next. He describes the ongoing damage and pain from the damaged relationships with Tammy's children. He also recalls a story of Tammy bringing gifts for his twin children ahead of their birth, highlighting his sister's warmth towards her family.

12:13 pm: Kelsee sobs as she says that her children "will never know their aunt Tammy. They will never feel her embrace, hear her read them a story, or share in a family tradition like our big water balloon fights we had each summer holiday."

12:01 pm: Kelsee Douglas, Tammy's sister-in-law, speaks to the profound and devastating pain that reverberated through her family after Tammy's passing.

11:50 am: Annie offered to take Tylee on a trip to New York City after discovering she was interested in the city during her trip to Arizona. She was excited to connect with Tylee and celebrate her 18th birthday with the trip. She would never be able to do this, as Tylee's remains were discovered on Chad Daybell's property just after her 18th birthday.

11:43 pm: Annie Cushing, aunt to Tylee Ryan, is next to speak. She explains the process of getting to know Tylee, describing the young woman as a walled garden who let her in when the two connected during a visit to Arizona. Following the visit, Annie says she was done with Lori and her extreme beliefs, but says she came away with a valuable connection to Tylee that she wanted to foster.

11:39 am: Matthew says he never knew Tylee or JJ, but he weeps while explaining the unbreakable connection they now have to his family. He closes his statement by saying that he hurts with the family of Tylee and JJ, just as he as seen them hurt with his family for the loss of Tammy.

11:38 am: Matthew outlines his grief in losing his sister, and in learning of the nature of her passing through the media. He explains that though his mother is no longer with them, he recalls the hardships she went through after losing Tammy.

11:31 am: Now, Matthew Douglas gives his victim impact statement. He is Tammy's brother.

11:30 am: Kay closes her statement by saying, "There is a hole in my heart and in the hearts of every member of my family, that cannot be filled and will remain for the rest of my life."

11:25 am: Kay describes the loving relationship between JJ and Tylee, explaining that the two were heartwarming to see together which was captured in the last image taken of the pair in Yellowstone.

11:18 am: Kay Woodcock now gives her victim statement, she describes JJ Vallow's imagination and wonder, explaining the joy that watching him grow and explore the world brought her. She says she and JJ used to make gumbo, and that she can still see him standing next to her, pouring broth into the pot.

11:14 am: Ron chokes up after saying he is glad that Tammy is resting peacefully in Utah, buried alone. He also says that he wants to work to rebuild a relationship with Tammy's living children.

11:10 am: The first statement comes from Ron Douglas, Tammy Daybell's father.

11:09 am: Prior finishes his statement by asking the jury "If it wasn't for that trajectory coming in and changing his path, is this where we would be going?" The defense and prosecution confirm that they will not be presenting further evidence, now victims will give their statements.

11:07 am: Prior says that Lori Vallow changed the trajectory of Chad's life, and explains that Chad was a "small town boy" who had a bomb dropped on him. The bomb was Lori Vallow.

10:58 am: Prior delivers opening statements for the defense, referring to Chad as reserved and shy.

10:54 am: After a late start in the courtroom caused by some technical difficulties, Rob Wood gives opening statements for the prosecution, highlighting the factors that point towards the death penalty being appropriate. Wood says "The murder of Tylee Ryan was especially heinous, atrocious or cruel. The murder of JJ Vallow was especially heinous, atrocious, or cruel. The murder of Tammy Daybell was especially heinous, atrocious, or cruel."