NewsLocal NewsThe Trial of Chad Daybell


RECAP: The Trial of Chad Daybell Day 31

Posted at 9:31 AM, May 29, 2024

BOISE, Idaho — 6:35pm: Jury is retired for the night.
4:33pm: Court is in recess.

4:32pm: Trial concludes. Jurors have been set to deliberation room.

4:32pm: Bailiffs are being sworn in.

4:30pm: Five (5) alternates have been drawn.

4:28pm: That concludes closing statements. Now number will be drawn for alternate jurors.

4:27pm: Blake asks jury to use their common sense when deliberating.

4:23pm: State replays the voice recordings of the "patriarchal blessings"

4:22pm: Blake says law enforcement did not have on blinders, they just went where the evidence led and followed up on lots of tips. And the evidence led to Chad's house. The kids were found dead in his yard and Tammy was found dead in the house. "You go where the evidence leads."

4:06pm: Blake says Alex isn't just on the property the day JJ was buried, he was in the actual spot where JJ was buried.

4:00pm: Blake reminds the jury of Jason Gwilliam testifying that Chad told him, "My kids know how to keep a secret."

3:56pm: State offers rebuttal about multiple characters that were brought up at the

3:52pm: Blake is back for the state's rebuttal. She begins talking to the jury about instructions. Similar to what the defense went over. The projector reads "Money, Power & Sex"

3:48pm: Back from recess. The state will begin their rebuttal.
3:25pm: Short 15 minutes recess is called ahead of state rebuttal.

3:25pm: Defense asks jury to find Chad "not guilty." Then defense rests.

3:24pm: "Police officers failed this investigation," says Prior.

3:18pm: Defense pulls up sticky note graphic titled "Reasonable Doubt' and listing motive Alex Cox, Lori and Alex, No DNA, and investigation failure... "You don't get to speculate," Prior says to the jury.

3:16pm: Prior begins to talk about DNA evidence.

3:14pm: "He's a traditional Mormon. You may not like it," says defense to jury when talking, again, about how Chad is entitled to his beliefs but that they can't hold that against him.

3:11pm: Prior went on to talk about how Chad is an author and writes about uncomfortable things but that the jury, "cannot hold it against him because you don't like the topic."

3:10pm: "Chad was the target," says Prior.

3:07pm: Prior says Alex was going to kill Chad.

3:03pm: "Alex Cox murdered Tylee Ryan and Lori Vallow knew what was going on," says Prior.

2:54pm: "Alex Cox had a motive. Alex Cox would be either spending the rest of his life in prison or far worse fate if JJ or Tylee opened their mouth and said anything," Prior says.

2:52pm: Defense repeating that Chad is a victim.

2:49pm: Prior says Lori Vallow cared about money, Lori Vallow and Alex Cox. He talks about Lori trying to get her "greedy hands" on money. And the next victim? "Husband number 5,"' a shortly after pointed at Chad Daybell.

2:46pm: Prior talks about motive and says Alex Cox shot Charles Vallow, and there were two "expendable" people who witnessed the murder: Tylee Ryan and JJ Vallow.

2:40pm: Prior says "I didn't mean to go on this long." Prior references the police body camera footage with Det. Ron Ball in Nov. 2019 where Lori says she is planning to move in with her friend Melanie Gibb.

2:34pm: Prior talks about jury instruction #8 and #18. He points to the last sentence of #18 - "mere presence at, acquiescence in or silence consent to planning and commission of a crime is not sufficient to make one an accomplice." Prior reminds the jury there has to be an agreement.

2:29pm: "You must find Chad not guilty," said Prior to the jury in the instance that they find any doubt.

2:26pm: Prior reminds the jury the defendant never has to prove his innocence and he does not have to speak. That the state has "the burden to prove there was an agreement. They have a duty to prove Chad, in some way, was involved in the murder," said Prior.

2:24pm: "We don't speculate. We do not engage in conjecture. We do not guess. Facts and evidence. Facts and evidence," said Prior.

2:18pm: "Unless there's an agreement to commit a crime, you can talk all day long about your religious beliefs," said Prior.

2:15pm: Defense talks about how the jury doesn't need to agree with Chad's beliefs, specifically religious beliefs, but they should respect that he can have them.

2:13pm: Prior says text messages are often misconstrued. "At no time did the prosecutor show you a text message that said, 'Let's kill the kids. Let's kill Tammy.'"

2:10pm: Prior reminds jury the burden is on the state to prove every element beyond a reasonable doubt. He says the state must prove there was an agreement between the co-conspirators.

2:04pm: Jurors have been seated. Defense attorney John Prior will begin his closing argument.

2:01pm: Back in courtroom after lunch. Chad Daybell walked in and is sitting next to John Prior. Prosecutors are at their table. Larry and Kay Woodcock are in the courtroom.


12:59pm: Judge orders lunch recess until 2pm.

12:58pm: State finishes up closing arguments.

12:57pm: In order to be found guilty of the murder charge, Blake tells the jury all Chad had to do was advise, encourage, plan the murder. Blake shows photos of Tylee, JJ and Tammy on the screen. She says they all became dark and "we know what happened."

12:55pm: Blake reminds jurors about burner phones, text messages, Chad increasing life insurance, firearms and more.

12:54pm: Blake shares reports of Lori wrongfully collecting money from the government.

12:50pm: Blake reminds jury of all the people who have testified.

12:49pm: Blake reminds jurors what a conspiracy is. An agreement between two or more persons to commit a crime. Only one of those persons has to commit an overt act.

12:48pm: Blake shows the last photo of Tylee and JJ, and photo showing the burial site of Tylee. "Tylee had a whole life ahead of herself," Blake says. She shows a picture of JJ and next to the picture is his burial site.

12:47pm: Blake shows Chad's inconsistent statements regarding the death on the screen.

12:43pm: Blake reminds jury that in Dec 2019. Tammy's body was exhumed. Cause of death ruled asphyxia, and the manner of death, homicide.

12:40pm: Blake tells the jury that Chad was a self-appointed leader of the Church of the Firstborn. She plays the clip of the 'blessings,' and Chad tells Alex he could never be repaid for all he has done for them.

12:38pm: On the courtroom screen photos of Chad and Alex standing next to pictures of Jesus Christ. Blake plays parts of the voice recording where a 'patriarchal blessing' that Chad gave to Alex with Chad telling Alex that he is his sister's protector.

12:35pm: Blake tells the jurors that Chad determined death percentages, who was possessed and when people were possessed, they had to die. She plays a clip of Jason Gwilliam talking to Chad and Lori.

12:33pm: State reminds jury of how JJ's body was found.

12:30am: Blake plays the phone call that Melanie Gibb made to Chad and Lori where she asked them about the whereabouts of JJ. Lori told Gibb she didn't want anyone to know so JJ can "be safe."

12:29pm: Now being shown in the courtroom, police body camera footage of Lori telling police that Alex is her "protector" and everyone is causing her trouble. Lori says her daughter is going to BYU-I and Chad is her "brother's friend."

12:25 pm: Blake says when Tammy increased her life insurance, Chad signed off on it too.

12:20 pm: Blake reminds jurors of a conflicting story from Garth Daybell regarding his mother Tammy's death. Garth's friend recalled being told by Garth that he found his mom dead with his dad nowhere to be found .

12:14 pm: Blake mentions a email from Tammy to her son Mark. Tammy describes a person wearing a facemask and wearing all black.

12:12 pm: Blake says Tammy, or someone on Tammy's account, had searched online for a paintball gun. This was before Fremont County Deputy Cannon arrived.

12:10 pm: Zulema says that night, Lori got a phone call. She was angry when she got off the call, saying "that idiot can't do anything right."

12:10 pm: On October 9, 2019, the same day as the attempted shooting on Tammy, a group of women gathered to conduct a casting on Tammy.

12:10 pm: Blake says Alex Cox bought a burner phone a day before the shots were fired at Tammy. She says Chad Daybell also bought a burner phone, that was only in contact with Alex Cox and Lori Vallow.

12:07 pm: Alex Cox traveled to a Sportsman's Warehouse and bought several items. Later that same day, Tammy was shot at in her driveway.

12:02 pm: Blake shows more text messages. Chad says to Lori there is "big news about Tammy." Tammy had been switched. Tammy now had a dark entity in her.

12:00 pm: Tammy's sister, Samantha Gwilliam reported Tammy looked fine when she arrived to Utah. She said Tammy put on a clogging routine. Before this visit, Samantha and her husband said they noticed changes in Chad. They said Chad was awkward, and didn't engage with them.

11:59 am: Tammy Daybell traveled alone to Utah on October 14, 2019. When Tammy left, Lori told Alex that she and Chad were finally going to be able to go on a real date.

11:57 am: Blake says Zulema Pastenes was asked to move to Rexburg, particullary by Chad. Zulema said she coundn't make the move financially, but Lori told her that Melani "would take care of us." Blake reminds that at this time, Melani was still married to Brandon and had children with him. Blake tells the jury, "Lori knew that if dad died, kids get social security."

11:56 am: Lori's niece, Melani Pawlowski turned to Chad and Lori for guidance. She turned to him to find out if people were dark or light. Blake reminds the jury about Brandon Boudreaux being shot at in Arizona.

11:54 am: Blake says Chad Daybell labeled Lori's children dark. "Their bodies were buried on his property."

11:54 am: Blake describes the condition of JJ Vallow's when he was found. Duct tape over his mouth, and running elbow to elbow.

11:50 am: Blake reminds of testimony from Melanie Gibb. Gibb recalled a time when Chad went upstairs with JJ Vallow, and Chad returned with scratches on his neck. Chad said JJ "freaked out."

11:49 am: In August 2019, Chad sent a text to Lori saying JJ was 'getting close.'

11:48 am: Zulema visited Lori and asked where Tylee was. Lori's response was, "don't ask."

11:45 am: Blake says, "Chad labels someone dark. When somebody is dark their body has to die. Alex believed Chad 100%."

11:44 am: On September 9th, 2019, Chad Daybell texted his wife Tammy. The text talks about Chad burning "limb debris." Blake puts emphasis on limb, saying "Limb. Not tree."

11:42 am: Chad Daybell is seen shaking his head 'no' as Blake talks about Chad looking up the wind direction after Tylee Ryan was last seen. Blake reminds that Tylee Ryan was burned.

11:40 am: In July, after Charles Vallow's death, Chad says to Lori, "I've been instructed to focus on Hillary." Blake says Hillary is Tylee Ryan. In those texts, Chad mentions turning the pain up to 10.

11:39 am: Lori and Alex had no connection to Rexburg. Their connection to the area was Chad Daybell.

11:38 am: Blake reminds that what Alex did in this life didn't matter, because he had been exalted.

11:37 am: Zulema says Chad and Alex grew closer after Charles Vallow's death. Chad gave Alex a blessing, and then Alex flew back with Chad to Rexburg, Idaho. Soon after, Alex was deemed exalted.

11:36 am: Chad traveled to Arizona after Charles' death. Zulema Pastenes says Chad affirmed her that Tammy Daybell was soon going to die, and will be on her own mission. His mission was with Lori.

11:35 am: Lori lets Alex know, "I'm sure you will be told also," in regards to what needs to be done with zombies. Blake says Alex got the information from Lori and Chad.

11:33 am: Blake says Lori asked Chad if she needed to be doing anything in regards to the plan.

11:30 am: A phone call between Chad and Lori is played. Lori is heard saying, "I don't know why the project had to go down this road." She continues, "I need you to tell me the project will be finished and everything is going to work out."

11:29 am: Blake adds, "Lori manipulates Chad with sex. From the minute he met her, he wanted to be with her and she knew it."

11:28 am: Blake says, "Chad manipulated Lori with power." She continued, "Lori was frustrated with him. Chad and Tammy have five children, Chad's life is undisturbed."

11:27 am: Later in July, Chad texted Lori, "I feel permanent freedom is coming." Blake asks to the jury, "Who does he need freedom from? His wife is still alive."

11:25 am: Blake shows texts between Chad and Lori in July. They are talking about death percentages. Chad says, "if they are going to act up, we will at least give them a reason to scream." Blake emphasizes these texts are in regards to children.

11:22 am: Chad deemed Alex as Lori's protector. Blake says Alex Cox relished the role, and being "a part of this."

11:21 am: Blake reminds that Zulema Pastenes told the jury that Alex Cox believed the jury 100%. No signs of grief from Lori after Charles died, because Charles was a zombie, and the body had to die.

11:20 am: Blake reminds the jury that 10 days after confronting Chad Daybell, Charles Vallow was shot and killed.

11:19 am: Lindsey Blake adds that Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow were in constant communication and they had multiple burner phones.

11:15 am: Lindsey Blake talks about Charles Vallow becoming "dark." Blake says Charles confronted Lori about her affair with Chad, and notified Tammy Daybell about her about the affair. In June 2019, Charles emailed Chad directly, telling him the affair was improper.

11:04am: State's closing arguments start with jail phone call between Chad and Lori on June 9, 2020 - the day J.J. and Tylee were found.

11:02am: Back from recess. Blake begins state's closing arguments.

10:45am: Boyce calls for recess while the state prepares for the closing argument. Court will resume in 15 minutes.

10:43am: Lindsey Blake will present closing arguments. Blake approaches the bench.

10:41am: Boyce finishes reading the 41 instructions. Reminding jurors ahead of closing arguments that, statements of attorneys are not evidence. If you (jurors) remember facts differently than what attorneys say, go with what you remember.

10:13am: Boyce continues to read instructions to jury.

10:10am: Boyce reads instruction #13. Jurors must follow all the rules and cannot ignore one or another. Boyce reads instruction #14 - jury is to decide facts from all the evidence presented in the case including sworn testimony, exhibits and facts the parties stipulated.

10:06am: Judge Boyce will read the jury 41 instructions before closing arguments. Last year, that took around an hour. Prosecution took an hour 15 minutes last year for closings, defense took about an hour, and then prosecution did a final closing that was around 20 minutes.

10:05am: Judge Boyce and the jury have entered the courtroom.

Today, closing arguments for the State vs. Chad Daybell will take place at the Ada County courthouse. Prosecution will go first, then the defense.

Judge Boyce will then read jury instructions for deliberations.

Watch the courtroom livestream below.