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RECAP: The Trial of Chad Daybell Day 4

Posted at 8:35 AM, Apr 16, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-16 18:44:58-04

BOISE, Idaho — Day 4 of the trial of Chad Daybell is underway, witness testimony is expected to continue shortly. Live updates from the courtroom are available below.

YESTERDAY IN COURT: Jurors hear conversations between Chad Daybell, Lori Vallow

3:20 pm: Judge Boyce asks the state and defense if they are ready to break for the day. They are, and the court enters recess for the day.

3:18 pm: Judge Boyce holds a sidebar with the attorneys.

3:17 pm: Prior finishes his questions, the State has no redirect. The state and defense do not have further questions for Saari, who is excused and not expected to return to the witness stand.

3:14 pm: Prior now questions Saari, asking if Chad has any obligation to notify anyone in the Social Security Administration that he was married to Lori, Saari says that it could be a problem if he was aware of those benefits and did not report it.

3:05 pm: According to Saari, Tylee received $1,859 monthly, JJ received $1,951 monthly, and Lori also received $1,951 a month all in social security payments. Lori's payments also stopped when JJ was unable to be located.

3:03 pm: Saari continues, explaining that JJ Vallow was also receiving social security payments following the death of his father, Charles Vallow. These payments also stopped when his whereabouts became unknown. Both accounts were available to Lori as she was the caretaker of the children.

3:02 pm: Saari explains that Tylee's social security benefits were halted after her agent could not determine her whereabouts.

2:58 pm: Saari says his job in the case was to investigate whether there was any Social Security fraud involved. Saari confirms that Tylee Ryan was a recipient of social security payments following the death of her father Joseph Ryan. Saari says the bank account receiving Tylee's benefits changed to a BBVA account on Aug. 20, 2019.

2:57 pm: Saari is asked about his credentials and training as a special agent. Rob Wood is questioning Saari.

2:56 pm: The next witness called by the State is Social Security Agent Mark Saari.

2:53 pm: Prior finishes a brief redirect, asking Duncan if he knows everything about Chad, Lori, and Alex. Duncan says he does not, but that the evidence in this case is voluminous. Prior has nothing further, Detective Duncan is dismissed as both the Defense and Prosecution do not expect to bring him back to the witness stand.

2:53 pm: Duncan says he recommended charges for Chad Daybell in connection to Charles Vallow's death.

2:50 pm: Blake asks if Duncan believes that Alex Cox killed Charles, Duncan says yes. Blake asks if Duncan believes Alex acted alone, the detective says he does not.

2:48 pm: Blake asks Duncan if Cox died shortly after this trip to Mexico, the detective says he does not know.

2:44 pm: Prior concludes his cross-examination with a question to Duncan about a trip Alex took to Mexico for cheap prescription drugs, Duncan says he is aware.

2:39 pm: Prior asks Duncan about the altercation that led to the death of Charles Vallow, Duncan explains Alex Cox told them that Tylee Ryan brought the bat out when Charles was arguing with Lori and that Charles took it from Tylee and later hit Alex with it.

2:36 pm: Prior asks if it is a crime to give a patriarchal blessing in Maricopa County even if unqualified to do so, Duncan says it is not.

2:31 pm: Prior asks Duncan how long "that blessing thing" went on for. Prior asks if Duncan believes the blessing was written down and being read or not. Duncan says he can't tell as he wasn't there for the blessing.

2:27 pm: Prior presents the report with the reason stated for the prosecutors not to charge Chad Daybell, the reasoning on the document says the prosecutor felt that there was no reasonable likelihood of conviction.

2:25 pm: Prior continues following the sidebar. He asks the detective about the process of pressing charges as a state prosecutor.

2:24 pm: Prior asks to approach and the attorneys have a sidebar with the judge.

2:21 pm: Prior asks Duncan if he is aware of the statement made by the Maricopa County prosecutor that they decided not to charge Chad Daybell in relation to the death of Charles Vallow.

2:19 pm: Prior asks Det. Duncan if he knows the prosecutor in Maricopa County, Duncan says he knows of them but does not know them personally.

2:15 pm: With no further questions from Blake, Prior begins to question the detective. He asks about the Doctrine of Covenants, an LDS doctrine that Prior says does discuss the Church of the Firstborn.

2:12 pm: Det. Duncan says the mention of the Church of the Firstborn caught his interest, and that from what he understands, it is not affiliated with the LDS church.

2:11 pm: The voice of a woman could be heard occasionally in the blessing recording, Det. Duncan says he believes this to be Lori Vallow.

2:09 pm: Chad blesses Alex with vitality and strength against Satan and his underlings, stating that Alex will "rise to eternal glory" and "have an eternal family" before ending the blessing.

2:07 pm: Chad tells Alex that as the second coming approaches, he will know when it is time to move on. Chad says that Alex's spirit will leave his body and he will be welcomed by the Savior. Alex was dead less than a month following this blessing.

2:05 pm: Chad can be heard audibly crying and sniffing in the audio recording of this blessing.

2:03 pm: Chad says to Alex that he will be known throughout the world for his good-heartedness and willingness to save souls through portals. He says Alex can communicate with Mother Earth herself, that he will know where natural disasters will happen before they do, and that he will bring tremendous blessings to people and "raise their vibrations."

1:59 pm: Audio of a patriarchal blessing given by Chad to Alex Cox is played for the courtroom. Patriarchal blessings are used in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Chad was not authorized to give the blessings. In the blessing, Chad says Alex is a part of the Church of the Firstborn. He references that Alex has helped him and Lori "in ways you can never be repaid."

1:46 pm: With the motion hearing now finished, the jurors return to the courtroom.

1:39 pm: Judge Boyce denies the motion to exclude the exhibit but says he will watch for relevance to the testimony of Gibb if it is presented.

1:37 pm: Prior says that allowing the correspondence between Wood and Gibb to be presented during testimony would simply be used to refresh the witness's memory and allow for proper cross-examination.

1:36 pm: Blake says that introducing the messages invites the possibility of calling Rob Wood to the witness stand.

1:34 pm: Judge Boyce asks to hear a response from the State, specifically on whether Prior should be allowed to present the messages between Wood and Gibb as evidence while she testifies.

1:28 pm: Prior reiterates that he does not intend to call Wood to the stand, but that he does plan on questioning Gibb about her communication with the prosecutor when she is brought to the stand.

1:25 pm: Prior says that 340 texts and emails were sent between Rob Wood and Melanie Gibb in around a 7-month period, many relating to the case.

1:22 pm: John Prior now responds to the motion. Prior mentions that he was notified about the motion about a day and a half ago. He protests the idea that the prosecution's motion controls the path of his cross-examination, and also adds that he has no intention at this time to call Rob Wood to the witness stand.

1:17 pm: Blake says though a prosecutor can be called in a case, it is disfavored and should be disclosed well in advance of the trial which, she says, was not done. She asks the court to exclude Wood as a witness and address concerns surrounding the prosecutor in a separate hearing.

1:13 pm: Lindsey Blake argues on behalf of the State, the motion in question relates to the defense considering to call prosecuting attorney Rob Wood as a witness in relation to Melanie Gibb.

1:12 pm: The courtroom livestream is back online. Judge Boyce introduces a motion made by the State which will be argued before the jury is allowed to return to the courtroom.

11:55 am: The courtroom goes into recess for lunch. The livestream is expected to return at 1:30 pm.

11:47 am: Another exhibit is played for the courtroom, it appears to be a follow-up call by the mortuary to Chad following the previous call. He reasserts that he is looking for a ballpark cremation price. The woman on the phone give him a price estimate.

11:46 am: A phone call is played for the courtroom. Chad can be heard calling a mortuary and asking for a cremation price. The woman on the phone asks his relation to the deceased, he says that it is his uncle who died. She asks for his name, which he spells incorrectly as Chad Dabel.

11:41 am: Duncan reads through an email allegedly from Karen at AVOW inviting Chad to speak at a youth conference in Houston about the temple. This email was later found to belong to Lori Vallow.

11:38 am: Duncan says that throughout his investigation, there were no texts indicating any of the involved parties were grieving Charles Vallow's death.

11:33 am: Duncan now discusses the contents of Zulema Pastenes', Alex Cox's wife and friend to Lori Vallow, who messaged Lori about Hiplos, something the two refer to as a "level 3" evil spirit. Chad also messaged Zulema on July 11, saying "It's crazy about Charles, but such a relief."

11:28 am: Chad later messaged Lori "I got the inspiration to go back to my original death percentages that helped us track Charles, Ned, etc. Tammy is very close. Her percentage has fallen steadily since Hiplos left. It is encouraging!"

11:22 am: Duncan reads messages from Chad to Lori, emphasizing Lori's concern for the life insurance money she thought she would be getting after Charles's death. Lori tells Chad she can't tell who Charles changed the beneficiary to, Chad replies "Wow, that's terrible, there's no way to find out?"

11:19 am: Lori also messaged Alex Cox, informing Cox that "they" were staging some kind of intervention that would all come to a head this week, which was just 2 days before Charles was killed. Lori also mentioned that she would be like "Nephi" and so would Alex.

11:15 am: Det. Duncan discusses messages from Lori to her son Colby Ryan, where Lori says that Tylee would send him money via Venmo, but Tylee had been dead for over 2 months at this point.

11:13 am: Lori also received the news of Tammy Daybell's death via text on Oct. 19, 2019, Lori said she hadn't heard the news yet and that she was in Hawaii.

11:08 am: The iCloud account had text between Alex Cox and Lori Vallow, the texts allude to doing something "hopefully today or tomorrow," and a later message from Lori says "Get rid of Ned already." Ned Schneider was the "dark spirit" name given to Charles Vallow.

11:06 am: Shifting gears, Det. Duncan has an exhibit containing information that caught his attention while reviewing Lori's iCloud accounts.

11:04 am: Det. Duncan explains that Charles texted Adam Cox, one of Lori's brothers, saying that he was concerned about Alex being at Lori's house. Charles was killed later that day.

10:59 am: More messages from Charles's phone reveal that he planned on going to Idaho to speak with Tammy Daybell. Lori says Tammy is her friend and that she won't listen to him.

10:57 am: In another email, Charles confronts Lori about the affair with Chad and asks her why this happened, asking for an apology.

10:55 am: Charles mentions the fake letter about paying Chad to be a ghostwriter in another email, indicating that he stumbled upon it. He asks Chad to just come clean and explain what is happening.

10:54 am: Det. Duncan details email correspondence between Charles Vallow and Tammy Daybell, specifically a message from Charles indicating that he knew of Lori's affair with Chad, though there is no indication that Tammy saw this message.

10:46 am: Det. Duncan says all available evidence indicates this message was fake and fabricated, not written by Charles Vallow. The message was found on Lori Vallow's computer.

10:44 am: The first slide on the slideshow is a message from Charles Vallow to Chad Daybell regarding their recent meeting. In the message, Charles asks Chad to be his ghostwriter on a book about Charles Vallow's life and beliefs, adding that he will pay him well.

10:40 am: The courtroom livestream is back online as the exhibit from Det. Duncan is being cast to the courtroom projector.

10:10 am: The exhibit is allowed, but Judge Boyce decides to call a morning recess before viewing it. The courtroom livestream is expected to return in 30 minutes.

10:07 am: Blake moves to admit an exhibit presenting information extracted from Charles Vallow's phone.

10:05 am: Det. Duncan explains that once he was appointed as lead agent on the case, he investigated Charles Vallow's phone which was the catalyst of an argument between Charles and Lori on the day of the shooting.

10:01 am: Det. Duncan explains that they noticed an indentation in the floor while cleaning the blood, which was not consistent with Cox's story that he shot Charles while he was standing up and using the bat.

10:00 am: Duncan explains that, according to Alex Cox, he had been hit with a baseball bat by Charles which prompted the self-defense.

9:56 am: Det. Duncan explains that he responded to the 911 call by Alex Cox, reporting that he had shot Charles Vallow in self-defense. When he arrived, Duncan was told that CPR had been performed by Cox, but the blood on the floor was not consistent with someone who had been given CPR.

9:49 am: Blake calls the next witness to the stand, Chandler Detective Nathan Duncan. Blake begins by asking him about his history of work and credentials.

9:45 am: Blake has no further questions, and Heideman is done testifying. She is expected to be recalled by the state later in the trial.

9:43 am: Prior has no further questions, Blake begins to question the witness again. Blake asks if the behavior of switching phone numbers as Chad was doing is common among criminals, Heideman says it is.

9:29 am: Prior says that the many phone numbers that were attributed to Chad could have been explained as a cover-up for the extra-marital affair between Chad and Lori.

9:27 am: Prior asks about Ned Schneider, Heideman says that Chad did search for different people regularly but that this was a name directly connected to the case. Prior says there are a lot of inquiries by Chad into names and that this seemed in line with his behavior.

9:25 am: Prior asks if Heideman looked into the fact that Lori and Charles Vallow tried to fix their marriage and renew their relationship, she says yes.

9:18 am: Prior asks if we know for sure that Chad Daybell made the searches Heideman mentioned, she says that she did not witness him typing them into the search bar, but that they were traceable to his accounts.

9:16 am: Prior asks if some of these searches could be explained by Chad attempting to conceal an extra-marital affair (with Lori). Heideman says she doesn't quite understand.

9:15 am: Prior asks why there wasn't a search history investigation on Melanie Gibb or David Warwick, Heideman says that she doesn't write the search warrants.

9:11 am: Blake objects to more questioning on the matter from Prior, Boyce sustains the objection. Prior moves on to the estimated death dates referenced by Heideman.

9:07 am: Blake has no further questions and Prior begins to cross-examine. He opens by confirming with Heideman that she is aware that Chad Daybell is not criminally implicated in the attempted shooting of Brandon Boudreaux. Prior notes that an FBI representative has been in the courtroom, asking Heideman if she discussed what she would say in her testimony, Heideman says he knows of the case and that they have spoken about the case over the last 4 years. Prior asks if they have spoken about the case since the trial began, Heideman says it's possible. Heideman clarifies that they have not discussed the case in a significant way since the trial began.

9:02 am: Heideman says just three days after Tammy Daybell's death, there was a search from Lori for "wedding dresses" and "wedding dresses in Kauai."

8:57 am: The day before Heideman believes Tylee Ryan was killed, there was a search on Sept. 8 relating to wind, "SSW wind, what is the definition of SSW direction."

8:54 am: Heideman also found that Chad and Lori met for the first time in October of 2018.

8:51 am: Heideman says the concept of "possession" is seen throughout the case. She says that she learned of the name Ned Schneider from police in Arizona, a name Lori would call Charles Vallow.

8:45 am: Heideman explains that she looked into the search history for Lori and Chad. Blake moves to admit a PowerPoint exhibit.

8:43 am: Heideman says that the case quickly developed and expanded to the deaths of Tammy Daybell and Charles Vallow.

8:41 am: Fremont County Prosecuting Attorney Lindsey Blake will continue questioning Heideman.

8:39 am: Nicole Heideman, an FBI Tactical Specialist, takes the witness stand to continue her testimony from yesterday.

8:36 am: The courtroom livestream has started. Chad Daybell and his attorney John Prior are seated.