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RECAP: The Trial of Chad Daybell Day 24

Chad Daybell
Posted at 8:35 AM, May 15, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-16 10:34:09-04

BOISE, Idaho — Day 24 of the trial of Chad Daybell focused on a timeline of texts from Lori, Chad, and Alex on key dates in the case. Live courtroom updates can be found below.



3:08 pm: Judge Boyce releases the jurors and sends the trial into recess for the day. Tomorrow's livestream is set to begin at 8:30 am.

3:04 pm: Judge Boyce calls for a brief sidebar to discuss scheduling with the attorneys.

3:03 pm: Blake displays the slide with information from the night of Tammy's death, Edwards confirms that Chad was texting Lori and Alex at the time that Tammy was pronounced dead.

2:57 pm: After briefly butting heads with Edwards and asserting that some of the content from text messages is being interpreted through the lens of a specific narrative, Prior has no further questions, Blake will now redirect.

2:46 pm: Prior asks about the searches made by Cox about the doors of a Dodge Dakota, Edwards says that Cox searched for a different year's model but that the search was still of interest to his investigation.

2:39 pm: The attempted shooting of Tammy Daybell is discussed, Edwards says that he believes the rifle involved was not a paintball gun, but he admits he was not there.

2:34 pm: Prior asks about a message Chad sent where he indicates that there is a chart used by someone else he knows which was the basis for his dark/light rating based on whether people's souls were still in their bodies.

2:27 pm: Prior returns to the timeline presented which outlines the relationship between Chad and Lori. He asks about details like the malachite wedding rings having healing properties and Tammy Daybell blocking Charles Vallow from emailing her, but Edwards can not testify to these details.

2:23 pm: Prior asks if Edwards was tracking the communications between Lori and Chad on a daily basis. Edwards says no, he only monitored their activity on specific dates because of how the investigation progressed.



1:50 pm: Prior will cross-examine when the livestream returns from a mid-afternoon break.

1:46 pm: Another slide in the exhibit shows details of the life insurance policies for Tammy and Chad. Chad received the payouts for both of Tammy's policies, totaling over $400,000.

1:43 pm: Messages are shown from the day after Tammy's death where Chad asks Lori to look for condos in Hawaii while she's there. Chad texts Lori that he's sad but it isn't for the reason that everyone thinks.

1:38 pm: On Oct. 18, Cox was near the Daybell residence and at the Salem LDS Church. More texts between Chad, Lori, Zulema, and Alex are laid out on a timeline for Oct. 18.

1:36 pm: On Oct. 11, Alex Cox made searches for "What caliber would penetrate a windshield," and "What gauge steel are the doors on a Dodge Dakota."

1:30 pm: Edwards points out a pin on Alex's gun that, when released, would allow the weapon to come apart. This pin is usually secure, but on this weapon, it would come out when turned which could cause the weapon to have difficulties when firing.

1:28 pm: Edwards says that the front of the rifle from Alex Cox has been modified for something to be attached to it, like a suppressor. He explains that a suppressor could make a weapon sound like a paintball gun.

1:24 pm: Edwards says that a scope could resemble a hopper on a paintball gun, which could lead to Tammy misidentifying the weapon. Edwards also says Tammy's account of the event shows that the attacker was pulling the trigger repeatedly, but the weapon was malfunctioning. The weapon owned by Alex Cox is displayed next to an image of a paintball gun. The weapons look similar, and the scope on Cox's weapon is close to the size of the hopper.

1:23 pm: Edwards also reviewed data from Tammy Daybell's phone. Texts from the device reveal her experience from the attempted shooting. She says the person with the rifle, which she says was a paintball gun, was wearing a ski mask. He pointed the gun at her from down the driveway, at which point Tammy called for Chad which caused the attacker to flee.

1:18 pm: More text messages were sent between Chad and Alex later that night. Their devices show location data placing them near Alex's apartment.

1:10 pm: Edwards confirms that these searches were made on the day before the attempted shooting of Tammy Daybell. Edwards notes texts between Alex Cox and Chad Daybell. There were 90 calls and texts between Alex, Chad Zulema, and Lori on Oct. 8 and into the early morning of Oct. 9.

1:07 pm: Following the lunch recess, Edwards is back on the stand discussing Alex Cox's Oct. 8 trip to the St. Anthony gun range. There was also a search that day for "6.5 Grendel drop from 100 to 200 yards," and another search for the drop from 100 to 300 yards which caught the investigator's attention.



12:00 pm: Ahead of the lunchtime recess, Edwards presented a timeline of the relationship between Lori and Chad. The highlights included the message from Charles confronting Chad about the affair, the date of Charles's death, and a message from Chad ahead of Tammy's death where he says “Tonight I figured out who I feel like. I’m a grown-up version of Harry Potter, who has to live with the Dudleys in his little space under the stairs. Every few weeks I get to escape and have amazing adventures with my Goddess lover, but then I have to return to my place under the stairs, feeling trapped. But I sense permanent freedom is coming!"

11:34 am: Edwards details his experience and training, including his work in the SWAT team.

11:28 am: Investigator Edwards is the lead investigator with the Attorney General's office.

11:26 am: The next witness, Investigator Nicholas Edwards, was exposed to media regarding the case. He testifies that the information has nothing to do with his testimony and explains that it will not influence what he discusses. Judge Boyce says this does not affect his ability to testify and allows for the jurors to be brought back in.

11:24 am: Prior has no further questions, and with no redirect from the state, Hermosillo is released from the stand and an issue is being discussed in the courtroom outside of the presence of the jurors.

11:22 am: Hermosillo confirms that there were also guns, knives, and ammunition recovered in the search, officers believed these weapons belonged to Alex Cox.

11:20 am: More plastic tarps and bags are shown from Lori's garage. A bag of concrete was recovered from Alex Cox's apartment.

11:15 am: An image of items found in Lori's garage is shown in the courtroom. Duct tape, a lighter, and several unidentified spray cans are among the items pictured. Gloves, a blue bucket, and a Dremel tool are also shown.

11:07 am: Prior moves to admit an exhibit, the state points out that the exhibit is beyond the scope of their direct but Wood explains that there is a previous agreement with Prior that the exhibit will be shown and they will address it in their re-direct.

11:06 am: Hermosillo agrees that there were some future plans discussed and confirms they were likely not related to any violence as Tammy, JJ, and Tylee were dead at the time.

11:05 am: Prior asks if any of the discussion on the tapes indicates the construction of any structures. Hermosillo says no. Prior asks if the blueprints or color selections mentioned in the call indicate any discussion, Hermosillo says no again.

11:03 am: Prior asks if Hermosillo recalls Chad wanting to construct a village for the second coming, Hermosillo says he doesn't recall any construction talk but that he does remember something about tents in Rexburg being a safe haven.

11:01 am: The jurors enter the courtroom and Hermosillo takes the witness stand as Prior prepares his cross-examination.

10:57 am: Blake argues that the main argument the state is trying to present is that Alex used the shooting ranges for practice and that the attempted shooting has been mentioned previously in the trial. Prior says the evidence invites the audience to speculate that the paintball gun may have been a deadly firearm when no evidence has proven that. Judge Boyce partially agrees with Prior, and says the searches can be discussed but the measurements may not.

10:46 am: The exhibit is a slide from a presentation with images that depict measurements from a tree on the property and a measurement of the driveway on the Daybell property. This slide also shows the account associated with Alex Cox searching for the details of a gun. Prior objects to the presentation of the evidence.

10:44 am: The mid-morning break was extended for administrative issues to be sorted out. Judge Boyce is now ruling on an exhibit which the state wants to present during a future witness's testimony outside of the presence of the jury.



9:58 am: Wood has no further questions. Judge Boyce calls for a mid-morning recess. The livestream is expected to resume with cross-examination from Prior in 25 minutes.

9:56 am: Lori asks Chad how he knows that things will work out, Chad says that it has been shown to him and that he knows this will work out. Wood asks Hermosillo who was asking for reassurances about the situation. Hermosillo confirms that Chad was giving Lori answers about their purpose in this second coming plan. The detective also says that this was the case in many of their calls while Lori was incarcerated.

9:55 am: Lori tells Chad that she doesn't know why things had to go the way they did in their plans. Chad says he understands and hopes that Alex, who is dead, will write her back. Chad tells her that things will work out.

9:46 am: Hermosillo confirms that Lori was asking Chad for spiritual answers and information on Alex following his death.

9:44 am: Lori gives questions that she has for Alex to Chad and the two continue to laugh about how Alex has been "acting" following his death.

9:40 am: Chad informs Lori that Alex, who is dead at this time, is optimistic about their plans and situation, telling the couple to "stick with it." The two giggle as they talk about a pool installation that has been taking a while.

9:34 am: The name "Ray LeMar" is mentioned in the call, which is explained by Hermosillo to be a name for Alex Cox. Chad says he texted Ray after the two discuss the second coming and their visions of a "new Jerusalem." Alex Cox was dead at this time. Hermosillo confirms that Chad often spoke about his ability to see and speak with the dead. More of the call is played for the jurors.

9:31 am: Rob Wood is questioning Hermosillo, he asks the detective about Lori Vallow's arrest. Hermosillo explains that Chad and Lori spoke on the jail's Telemate call system 10-12 times per day following her arrest. Hermosillo would listen to their jail calls, and Wood moves to play portions of a call between the two in the courtroom.

9:30 am: With no further questions from Blake, Wright is released from the stand. Rexburg Det. Ray Hermosillo is now called to the witness stand.

9:28 am: Blake displays the texts from Chad to Tammy about the raccoon he allegedly killed on their property ahead of Tylee's death. Blake asks if investigators were ever looking for a raccoon on the property. Wright says no, they were looking for the bodies of children, which they found.

9:10 am: Blake now redirects, she asks Wright if there is anyone that Cox knew in the area of the church other than Chad, Wright says no.

9:08 am: Prior asks about any potential pings from Alex Cox near the Salem LDS Church besides the ping that was discussed yesterday that placed Cox's device at the church on the day Tammy died. Wright says there were seven occasions where the device was in the area, and there may have been other occasions where Cox was passing the building.

8:44 am: Prior is gearing up to continue his cross-examination from yesterday with questions about location data for Alex Cox.

8:32 am: The courtroom livestream is expected to begin shortly, to catch up on testimony from yesterday, click here.