NewsLocal NewsThe Trial of Chad Daybell


RECAP: The Trial of Chad Daybell Day 21

Posted at 8:55 AM, May 10, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-10 17:14:07-04

BOISE, Idaho — Day 21 of the trial of Chad Daybell is underway. View the live courtroom updates below.

3:10 p.m: Court is dismissed until Monday morning.

3:06 p.m: "There was something very special about Elena and he knew they would be compatible in every way," Heideman read from the story. "Jesus invited them to kneel across from one another and they were sealed them together for all eternity." Heideman said these sections directly parallel Chad and Lori's relationship.

2:57 p.m: Blake continues asking Heideman about the James and Elena story.

2:28 p.m: Jurors are dismissed for an afternoon break. Court will resume shortly.

2:24 p.m: In the story, James claimed to have written a novel called "The Renewed Earth." Chad wrote a novel by the same name. James and Elena shared an "unparalleled love" in a previous lifetime. Chad and Lori also believed they were married in a previous lifetime.

2:19 p.m: Blake shows a photo of Chad surrounded by Lori, Gibb and two other women at the Preparing a People conference.

2:15 p.m: Part of Chad's story talks about James falling in love at a conference and it was unexpected. There was a mention of Elena helping James sell his books, which matches up with Chad and Lori's lives.

2:08 p.m: Blake asks Heideman about the James and Elena story written by Chad. In that story, James and Elena were being sealed to each other in the temple. James and Raphael were aliases for Chad. Elena and Lily were aliases for Lori. Blake moves to admit an exhibit of the story.

2:01 p.m: Blake submits an exhibit which is a timeline of Chad and Lori's temple visits together prior to their marriage. Heideman explains that those who visit the temple scan cards to enter and Heideman reviewed the records to put the timeline together. Cards belonging to Chad and Lori were scanned within seconds of each other at the temples.

1:52 p.m: Heideman found that Lori filled out a request form on Oct. 30, 2019 for a wedding on a Kauai beach on Nov. 5.

1:50 p.m: Heideman found a text message from Chad to Lori on July 13, 2019. The message talks about the upcoming graduation of Chad's kids "but I feel she will be gone by then." The graduation was on July 23.

1:48 p.m: In August 2019, Lori attempted to purchase two malachite wedding rings but the credit card was declined. In October, Lori purchased a wedding band which was then returned and repurchased for a smaller size. The ring was purchased and returned when Tammy was still alive.

1:42 p.m: Blake asks Heideman about searches for malachite. Chad's earliest search for malachite was in March 2019 and in May 2019, Chad and Lori both appeared to be searching for it. Tammy and Charles were both still alive in May 2019.

1:38 p.m: The first slide of the exhibit says, "Evidence of wedding planning." The second slide references two documents labeled "Seven Archangels" and "Presiding Council of Archangels."

1:35 p.m: Heideman was asked to investigate any wedding planning between Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow. Blake submits an exhibit created by Heideman.

1:32 p.m: The state now calls Nicole Heideman to the stand. Heideman is a tactical specialist. She has not watched or observed any testimony or trial since she was last in court.

1:26 p.m: Blake asks if Samantha was close with Tammy's kids. She said "we raised our children together and did a lot together." Blake asks if Samantha knew of anything else buried in Chad's backyard. Samantha said "Yes, two children." Blake has no further questions.

1:23 p.m: Prior shows another photo and asks Samantha to point out where the pet cemetery is. There used to be a raspberry patch in the area. Prior has no further questions, Blake will re-direct.

1:19 p.m: Prior shows the photo of Chad's property and asks Samantha to point out the pet cemetery, the house and the add-on.

1:15 p.m: Samantha said that Tammy would go to the doctor without hesitation. Prior asks Samantha to name all of the Tammy's children, which she does. Samantha believes the children are still members of the LDS faith, though she isn't in contact with them.

1:12 p.m: Prior asks Samantha about animals in the pet cemetery. Samantha said that Tammy told her about three of the animals, but she doesn't know all of the animals in the cemetery.

1:05 p.m: Prior is cross examining Samantha Gwilliam. Prior asks if she knows how many times she has been interviewed as part of the investigation. Samantha is unsure of an exact amount. She said her husband, Jason, was present for most interviews.

12 p.m: Blake has no further questions. Court will go to lunch break and resume at 1 p.m.

11:58 a.m: Samantha called Chad in December 2019 to ask about Lori's name difference - Ryan versus Vallow. Chad told her that Lori had a complicated past and wanted to move on.

11:55 a.m: Samantha reached out to Chad roughly a month after Tammy's passing, which is when she learned about his new wife, Lori Ryan. Chad said that he are Lori had both lost a spouse, which is what brought them together.

11:51 a.m: Samantha thought it was odd that Chad was burying Tammy in Springville when the whole family lived in Rexburg. Samantha remembers Chad telling her that it was because Rexburg is "covered in snow and ice for most of the year and you will take care of her."

11:50 a.m: Samantha asked Chad over the phone if there would be an autopsy done on Tammy and he said no. He said it was because it looked like natural causes and would cost $1,500 which would delay the funeral.

11:49 a.m: Tammy visited Samantha in October 2019, which was a last-minute visit. Tammy texted Samantha and asked if she would be around that weekend. Tammy traveled alone, which was unusual.

11:45 a.m: Blake asked if Tammy had opposition to going to the doctor and Samantha said she did not, but she did use homeopathic remedies. Samantha says she never saw Tammy have an adverse reaction to any at-home remedies.

11:43 a.m: Samantha said that Tammy was making plans for the future. She told Samantha to apply for a position in Idaho so that they could be close together.

11:40 a.m: Chad told Samantha that he had a vision they should move to Idaho. Samantha read an email Chad sent saying she had evil spirits keeping her from moving to Idaho and that she should be up there.

11:36 a.m: Samantha says she liked Chad and thought he was a good husband and father. Chad and Jason were close. They all lived in the same neighborhood.

11:34 a.m: Samantha said that is was normal for Tammy to have a pet cemetery. Tammy was the second oldest. There was four years between them but they were best friends and stayed close into adulthood. They talked almost every day.

11:31 a.m: The first exhibit shows a photo of Chad's property. Blake asks if Tammy had a pet cemetery. Samantha says she did and explains two posts in the middle of the picture. To the right is the fire pit and the barn is in the back. Another closer image of the fire pit and pet cemetery is shown.

11:29 a.m: Samantha Gwilliam, Tammy's sister, is called to the stand. Blake will be questioning. Blake moves to admit two exhibits.

11:24 a.m: Wixom asks if Tylee and JJ being buried in Chad's backyard was a "simple situation." Jason said it is "far from a simple situation." Wixom has no further questions. Prior also has nothing further, concluding Jason Gwilliam's testimony.

11:21 a.m: Wixom asks Jason if he's concerned he wasn't informed about Tammy's exhumation. Jason would liked to have known, but is not concerned he wasn't. Wixom asks Jason how many law enforcement contacts he has had regarding Chad. Jason said around 20.

11:16 a.m : Prior asks if Jason has read any of Chad's books, which he has. Jason said he thought that they were fictional stories at first, but later learned that Chad wrote them based on events that are going to occur. Prior has no further questions, Wixon will now redirect.

11:12 a.m: Jason said he is not related to Steve Schultz, but has known him for 12 years and describes him as a "good friend and good man."

11:10 a.m: Prior asks Jason what he thought Chad meant by a "simple situation." Jason said he doesn't know and it could have meant any number of things.

11:06 a.m: Prior asks what police officers were at the Springville Police Department when Jason spoke to law enforcement on Dec. 18, 2019. Jason says the only person who stood out in the group was the person who said he was with the FBI. He thought that was unusual because you don't usually deal with the FBI.

11:02 a.m: Prior asks Jason about the details of his visits with Chad and Tammy from 2015-2018. Jason said that from his observations, Chad's relationship with his family seemed normal. Jason didn't see Chad as much in 2019.

10:56 a.m: Prior asks Jason about his LDS faith and asks if he or Chad held any positions of authority. Jason doesn't recall specifics, but says "he loved Chad" and said he held various of positions of authority over the years.

10:54 a.m: Jason asks Chad and Lori on the phone recording if they have any plans for Christmas. Chad said that they are not going to Idaho. Jason said that this is the last contact he ever had with Chad, but he can't say why. Wixon has no further questions, Prior will now cross examine.

10:50 a.m: Jason said he had no issues with talking to law enforcement. He clarifies that Ron and Phyllis are Tammy's parents.

10:47 a.m: Chad says if the police bother Ron and Phyllis to give them their attorneys number. Sean Bartholick was their lawyer. Lori says Detective Hope, a relative of Heather, never calls them to ask any questions but calls everyone else.

10:45 a.m: Lori said to Jason that "he doesn't know anything, which is great." Chad tells Jason he will text him the name of their attorney in Rexburg.

10:40 a.m: Lori tells Jason that if he is questioned to give the police their attorney's name and not talk to them about anything else, including "the Tammy situation."

10:35 a.m: Wixom plays a small portion of the call for Jason to authenticate. Jason tells Chad over the phone that the police are asking to question him about the missing kids. Chad said that it was "mainly one detective in Rexburg" who had been threatening them.

10:32 a.m: Jurors are being brought in. A portion of an 11 minute phone call of Jason Gwilliam confronting Chad Daybell after the children vanished will soon be played in court.

10:04 a.m: Court is dismissed for morning recess and will return at 10:25 a.m.

10:03 a.m: Jason told police that he would call Chad with law enforcement listening. Jason asked them to record the call, which they did.

10:02 a.m: Jason was concerned because Chad had told him that Lori had older children. Jason was also concerned that police could not get in touch with Chad and Lori.

10 a.m: On Dec. 18, 2019, Jason received a call from law enforcement and met them at the Springville Police Department. Jason learned there were two missing kids affiliated with Lori and Chad.

9:57 a.m: Chad told Jason that his children knew he was getting married before he went to Hawaii. Chad said that "his kids were good at keeping secrets."

9:55 a.m: Jason and Chad had another conversation a few days later. Jason was trying to figure out when Chad got married and was informed that Chad married on November 5. During their first call, Chad asked Jason not to tell anyone that he had been married.

9:53 a.m: Chad told Jason on their phone call that he had gotten married. This was the first time Jason found out about the marriage. "I remember standing there, not knowing what to say." Chad told Jason what his new wife looked like and said that "she was an amazing individual." He had not heard JJ or Tylee's names at that point.

9:52 a.m: Around a month after the funeral, Jason reached out to Chad to see how he was doing. The first thing Chad asked was if Jason had been speaking to Heather Daybell. Jason was not close to Heather and was calling to check on Chad, not to talk about Heather.

9:48 a.m: Jason was watching some of the children at the funeral and didn't interact with Chad much. After the funeral, everyone proceeded to the cemetery and Jason said it seemed like they stayed at the cemetery for "longer than normal."

9:46 a.m: Jason attended a viewing on Monday night and one on Tuesday morning. On Monday, Chad was busy greeting people so he and Jason did not interact much. On Tuesday, there was a family prayer and Jason said it seemed "different and off."

9:42 a.m: Jason went with Steve Schultz, the mortician, from Springville to Rexburg to pick up Tammy's body. Chad seemed relatively normal and there was not a lot of mourning. Jason said he felt that "something seemed off" with Chad's behavior, but said he dismissed it as grief.

9:39 a.m: Jason said he spoke to Chad in the morning on October 19, 2019, the day of Tammy's death. Chad told him he wanted to hold the funeral the following Tuesday and couldn't give Jason any details about Tammy's cause of death.

9:38 a.m: Jason had seen Tammy two weeks prior to her death when she came to stay with him and his wife. She was coming to visit family. "She was healthy and seemed happy. There didn't seem to be anything that would cause her to die." Jason said he didn't think Tammy had lost any weight at that point.

9:34 a.m: Jason said he observed Chad and Tammy as a "happy couple who were kind and nice to each other."

9:30 a.m: After visiting Idaho, Jason had a gut feeling he was not supposed to be there. Jason told Chad he would not be coming up.

9:29 a.m: The letter from Chad said that Jason needed to more to Idaho because they needed "to escape the destruction before it happened."

9:28 a.m: Jason said "he didn't feel right" about the move and that it wasn't a place they needed to be. Chad would repeatedly ask Jason to move to Idaho, including in a letter written by Chad in 2016.

9:25 a.m: Chad and his family moved to Idaho in 2015. Chad invited Jason and his family to move with him. Chad felt it would be good to have Jason and his family move to escape the earthquake and desolation that was going to happen in Utah. Chad said Rexburg would be a city of light and a place of refuge.

9:23 a.m: Jason said he was concerned that Chad's behavior when it started focusing more on what would "happen in America and things in the future." That was around 2013. Prior asks him to be more specific about the nature of these stories.

9:20 a.m: Chad told Jason about visions he started having regarding "how the last days would play out." Chad started sharing his visions in 2010.

9:17 a.m: Jason worked with Chad and they lived near each other for years. They were pretty close before this case. Jason married Samantha in 1995. Jason and his family would see Chad and his family at least once or twice a week. Jason and Chad saw each other up to four or five times a week.

9:15 a.m: The next witness is Jason Gwilliam, Tammy's brother-in-law. Jason is married to Samantha Gwilliam, Tammy's sister. Rocky Wixom will be questioning.

9:10 a.m: Prior asks Willmore about the towel used to wipe away the foam from Tammy's mouth. Willmore says she didn't use the towel, Brenda Dye did. Willmore did not look at the towel prior to it being used.

9:07 a.m: Prior asks if it's possible Chad told Willmore that Tammy didn't see any doctors about her illness. Willmore says that all she remembers is Chad saying Tammy doesn't see doctors often.

9:05 a.m: Prior asks Willmore about Chad mentioning Tammy had been clumsy. She replied that Chad said Tammy had been lightheaded and clumsy. Prior asks Willmore about her interview with the FBI.

9:00 a.m: Willmore had never heard the names of JJ Vallow, Tylee Ryan, Lori Vallow or Alex Cox. Blake has no more questions. Prior will now cross examine.

8:59 a.m: Willmore asked Chad if he wanted an autopsy and he said no.

8:57 a.m: Willmore asked Chad to see Tammy's medication cupboard and said she "didn't see anything that stood out."

8:56 a.m: Chad told Willmore that Tammy didn't go to doctors and said she may have been treating herself for some illness. Willmore said Chad was the only one speaking.

8:46 a.m: Chad said Tammy had been vomiting in the bathroom during the night but after she threw up, they went back to sleep. Chad said Tammy fell out of the bed.

8:44 a.m: Willmore spoke with Chad about Tammy's health history and what he thought happened. She asked if Tammy had any medical issues and Chad said she had not but in the past month or so she had hypotension and lightheadedness. Chad also said Tammy had been a bit clumsy.

8:43 a.m: Fremont County Deputy Greenhalgh was at the home when Willmore arrived. So was Chad. Chad's son Garth Daybell then came into the bedroom later. He was very quiet and did not say much.

8:42 a.m: Willmore responded to Tammy Daybell's death on Oct. 19, 2019. She had only responded to 5-6 unattended deaths up to that point. Willmore didn't know Chad or Tammy Daybell.

8:40 a.m: Willmore has been an EMT for 15 years. She became deputy coroner in February/March 2019 and worked with Brenda Dye. She is no longer in the position. Blake asks what an unattended death. Willmore said it's when a person dies and they aren't under the care of hospice or a doctor at the time.

8:37 a.m: The first witness today is Deputy Coroner Cammy Willmore. Lindsey Blake will question her.

8:30 a.m: Samantha Gwilliam, Tammy Daybell's sister, is in court with her husband, Jason Gwilliam. Michael and Benjamin Douglas, Tammy and Samantha's brothers, are also present.