NewsLocal NewsThe Trial of Chad Daybell


RECAP: The Trial of Chad Daybell Day 26

Chad Daybell
Posted at 8:35 AM, May 20, 2024

BOISE, Idaho — Courtroom updates from Day 26 of the trial of Chad Daybell can be found below. Two of Chad's children and his son-in-law testified for the defense during the court proceedings.

3:17 pm: After a brief sidebar, Judge Boyce sends the courtroom into recess.

3:14 pm: Joseph explains that Tammy seemed a bit jealous of his parents, who were losing weight due to their exercise habits. He believes this may have led to her shaking her arm to fake some of the Fitbit steps.

3:09 pm: Changing subjects, Joseph says he was managing the 5k that Tammy was involved in assisting. He clarifies that she did not run the race but instead volunteered to help with the operations.

3:07 pm: Joseph says there are two driveways on the Daybell property, the main driveway and a longer driveway that runs behind the house. He says that the secondary driveway would bring a driver to the area where Tylee and JJ were buried. Prior asks if someone could access that driveway without being visible from the nearby road, Joseph says yes.

3:00 pm: Joseph explains that Garth told him about Tammy's death after Emma called the house several times with nobody responding. Joseph remembers Chad wandering the property aimlessly and holding his head.

2:57 pm: Joseph details the day of Tammy's death. He explains that when he borrowed her keys that day, she was exhausted. When he returned them later that night, Joseph says Tammy was coughing.

2:55 pm: Joseph clarifies that he borrowed Tammy's keys for the Dakota but says that Chad also had a set of keys for the vehicle.

2:52 pm: Joseph explains that he borrowed the Dodge Dakota from Tammy, who he says was the primary driver of the vehicle, when he and Emma had just one working vehicle.

2:47 pm: Joseph says that based on information from Tammy, he was fairly certain that the weapon was a paintball gun. He recalls reporting this information to Deputy Colter Cannon, who responded to the call.

2:43 pm: Joseph explains that he didn't see anyone fleeing the scene after the attack. He also did not hear a scream or a yell from the direction of the house.

2:39 pm: Following the mid-afternoon break, Joseph Murray takes the witness stand. He is married to Emma Murray, Chad's daughter. Joseph recalls the paintball gun incident, he says that he called the police following the attack after Tammy mentioned that she hadn't contacted them. He recalls Tammy indicating that the weapon was a paintball gun.

2:07 pm: Fischer explains that he doesn't recall saying that the second grand jury was a trap designed to trick him but explains that he advised Garth to avoid speaking with the media to avoid committing perjury. Prior has no further questions, a mid-afternoon recess is being held before Blake cross-examines.

2:02 pm: Garth Daybell's attorney Forrest Fischer is called to the witness stand.

1:54 pm: Judge Boyce explains that there is a matter to be decided outside of the presence of the public and jurors before the next witness is called.

1:48 pm: Prior initiates a brief re-direct where Garth says he felt as though county prosecutors were trying to intimidate him into changing his testimony. In a re-direct, Blake has Garth confirm that he did not, in fact, change his testimony.

1:45 pm: Garth says he doesn't recall telling an officer that his dad was gone when he found his mom dead in the bed.

1:40 pm: Garth says he assumed that Tammy and Chad were asleep when he got home on the night of her death, but confirms that he did not see them at that time. He recalls going into their room when Chad woke him up and says Tammy was tangled on the bedsheets. Garth says his immediate thought was to pick up Tammy's body and move her back onto the bed because she was tangled and, as far as Garth could see, needed his help.

1:38 pm: When asked by Blake, Garth says he never shot paintball guns or other weapons with his mom. Garth is surprised to learn that the officer present after the paintball incident did not recall the image of a paintball gun which Tammy supposedly identified.

1:37 pm: Garth says he was not present for the raccoon's burials.

1:35 pm: Garth explains that his understanding of castings did not lead him to believe that people were killed when dark spirits were expelled from them. Prior has no further questions, Blake now cross-examines.

1:32 pm: Garth is a middle school teacher, he says he teaches evolution and the scientific age of the earth which would contrast with his father's beliefs which are founded more in faith.

1:31 pm: Garth explains that he is a member of the LDS faith, but describes his father as being more traditional, or fundamental, in his beliefs relating to the church.

1:23 pm: Garth discusses the exhumation of his mother's body. He says the autopsy was a surprise to him, he was not aware it would be happening beforehand.

1:20 pm: Garth explains that he found his mother cold and stiff on the floor after Chad woke him up on the night of her death. He says there was no sign of a struggle or argument between the two.

1:15 pm: Garth recalls the paintball gun incident. He remembers Tammy explaining the weapon to be a paintball gun because of the hopper she identified.

1:13 pm: Garth describes Tammy's physical health. He explains that he was "her muscle" while they worked in the yard and that she would have fainting spells.

1:08 pm: Garth confirms for the courtroom that he has only spoken to Prior three times. The only advice he was given was to tell the truth.

1:04 pm: As the livestream from inside the courtroom resumes, Garth Daybell returns to the witness stand while his father watches from the defendant's table.

11:51 am: Judge Boyce calls for a lunch recess after discussing an issue in a brief sidebar. The livestream is expected to return at 12:50 pm.

11:47 am: Prior asks Garth about the raccoons on the Daybell property. Garth explains that the raccoons went after the rabbit food and posed a danger to the rabbits. The Daybells began trapping and burying the raccoons on the property. Garth says they caught 3-4 raccoons in the summer of 2019.

11:45 am: Garth explains that, due to car troubles, Chad became the primary driver of Tammy's Dodge Dakota starting in 2017. This was the vehicle that Alex Cox seemingly researched the bullet resistance of.

11:43 am: Garth is the oldest of Chad's sons. He explains that he was living with Tammy and Chad at the time of his mother's death.

11:41 am: Prior has no further questions Emma is released. Garth Daybell, another of Chad's children, is called to the stand.

11:39 am: Prior asks about the signatures on the insurance policy, Emma says that the language was unclear about whether a spouse's signature from Chad was applying for coverage for himself in addition to Tammy's coverage.

11:35 am: Chad instructs Emma to move into his house following the arrest after telling her that he is not coming back. With no further questions, Prior begins his redirect.

11:31 am: Emma tells Chad that she texted John Prior about the situation.

11:26 am: Emma says she saw the police chase Chad down as he was driving away from the house. Chad can be heard instructing Emma about finances and passwords.

11:25 am: In the bodycam footage, Emma can be heard sobbing. Chad is consoling her.

11:22 am: Blake moves to admit bodycam footage of the conversation Emma had with Chad during the search of the Daybell property. This follows questioning by Blake about Emma being unwilling to speak with law enforcement.

11:10 am: Emma reveals that she learned of Chad's affair with Lori after he was arrested.

11:04 am: Emma recalls Chad telling her that JJ and Tylee were in a safe place. She confirms that their bodies were found buried on his property.

11:03 am: Emma explains that Tammy and Chad shared passwords and confirms that Chad would be able to block contacts on her devices if he knew how to. Charles Vallow's email was blocked by Tammy's account after he tried to inform her of Lori and Chad's affair.

10:59 am: Documents for Tammy's life insurance policy are shown. Both Chad and Tammy signed the document, which only insured Tammy.

10:55 am: Blake asks if it would surprise her to know that Tammy's phone had activity as late as 10 pm on the day she died. Emma says that if she was sick she was probably up late, but confirms that she was not at the house on that night to know if that was the case.

10:54 am: Blake asks Emma about Tammy's medical records, which had no recording of sleep apnea. Emma says she wouldn't be surprised if this was the case, though she testified earlier today that Tammy probably had sleep apnea.

10:52 am: Blake asks about many statements from Chad, but Emma says she doesn't recall any of them. Emma says that her dad never instructed her to say anything.

10:51 am: Blake begins her cross-examination by asking about Emma's decision to stop talking to the FBI after discussing with Chad. Emma says she made the decision due to the advice of an attorney.

10:48 am: Blake continues objections to Prior's questions, many of which are sustained, causing the testimony to jump from subject to subject. Prior finishes his questioning by asking Emma about Chad's emotional state at Tammy's funeral. Emma says that Chad's reaction was normal for an LDS husband, happy at times that Tammy had moved on to live with her eternal family.

10:45 am: Prior asks about Emma's interaction with law enforcement, she says she met with Detective Hope, who asked him where her father was. She told the detective that he was in Hawaii.

10:40 am: Emma explains that she became aware of the exhumation of Tammy's body after it happened, which was upsetting to her.

10:35 am: Emma answers questions about the pet cemetery, she says that Tammy cared deeply for animals and explains that the cemetery was used for stray animals and even pests.

10:20 am: Boyce sustains the objection by the state, deeming the statements hearsay. The exact statements made to Emma by Lori Vallow will be limited. The jurors are let back into the courtroom.

10:17 am: The state's objection is being discussed as the livestream resumes following the recess. Boyce is hearing arguments as to whether or not the statements made by Lori Vallow on the trip with the Daybell family to California constitute hearsay.

10:08 am: Nate Eaton with our partners at East Idaho News says that a ticket reservation system for those trying to enter the courtroom will be brought in next week as this is by far the most people who have shown up to try and get into the courtroom.

9:41 am: Emma's testimony continues to be very dry and her answers are brief. Blake poses continued objections to Prior's questioning relating to Lori Vallow's presence on the Daybell family trip to Knott's Berry Farm. The jurors are excused for a mid-morning recess after Blake and Prior have some a brief argument.

9:36 am: Emma recalls the day that Tammy died. She remembers that an autopsy was offered, but the body would have to be taken to Boise which would delay the funeral. Emma explains that she doesn't believe autopsies should be done on anyone and the idea was very distressing for her.

9:33 am: Emma says that Tammy would have been somewhat familiar with paintball as it was a common activity in Utah where they used to live. Emma says her mother likely went paint-balling at some point.

9:25 am: Emma says she was aware of castings but that the process of removing an evil spirit would not kill the person whose body was hosting dark entities.

9:20 am: Emma says he applied the plain meanings of the words in religious texts. Emma explains the phrases light and dark are descriptors for motivations, whether your actions are focused inward (dark) or outward (light).

9:16 am: Prior asks Emma about Chad's beliefs, Emma describes him as a fundamentalist Mormon.

9:12 am: Emma explains that she and her mother both signed up for more life insurance and neither of them consulted their husbands when they did so.

9:07 am: Emma explains that Tammy was not planning on participating in an upcoming 5k as was previously stated, but that she had taken the clogging and Zumba classes to lose weight.

9:00 am: Emma says there was a competition between Tammy and Emma's in-laws to take the most steps. Emma says that Tammy would shake her arm to get more steps to do better in the competition.

8:59 am: Prior asks about Tammy's Fitbit, Emma says her mom was not in a fit state but that she wanted to work on her physical health.

8:53 am: Emma says that Tammy would bruise easily, even carrying groceries could leave her with a bruise.

8:52 am: Emma mentions that Tammy would encourage her to drink colloidal silver.

8:50 am: Emma says in the year before Tammy's death, her physical health was declining. Emma says she would go to sleep just after dinner. She explains that she preferred herbal supplements to medications. She also says that Tammy would go to sleep early, at around 5, 6, or 7 o'clock.

8:49 am: Emma explains that she lives in the house that once belonged to Tammy and Chad.

8:46 am: Prior opens his case by calling Emma Murray, Chad Daybell's daughter, to the stand.

8:32 am: The courtroom livestream is expected to begin shortly. Last week in court, Judge Boyce ruled on a motion to acquit Chad Daybell of the charge for JJ Vallow's murder:
RECAP: Judge Boyce denies defense motion to acquit Daybell of JJ Vallow's murder