NewsLocal NewsThe Trial of Chad Daybell


Sex, money, power and DNA evidence headline day one in the Trial of Chad Daybell

Posted at 7:02 PM, Apr 10, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-10 21:02:54-04

BOISE, Idaho —  
The trial of the State of Idaho vs. Chad Daybell at the Ada County Courthouse in Boise is off and running with opening statements from the prosecution and defense.

  •  Prosecution talks of sex, money and power
  • Defense Attorney John Prior says weigh all the evidence
  • A Rexburg police detective was the first witness to take the stand

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story.)

Madison County Prosecuting attorney Rob Wood went first. Wood layed out his step-by-step plan to prove to the jury beyond a reasonable doubt that Chad Daybell is guilty of 7 counts including three first degree murder charges. Wood didn’t waste any time. “Two dead children buried in the defendant’s Chad Daybell’s backyard in September of 2019. The next month, his wife is found dead in their marital bed. 17 days after the death of his wife Tammy, this defendant is photographed laughing and dancing on a beach in Hawaii at his wedding, Lori Vallow a woman who was his mistress and the mother of the children buried in the graves on his property, three dead.”

Then it was Defense Attorney John Prior’s turn. Standing directly in front of the jury, Mr. Prior told a story of a family man who was seduced by a woman after they first met at conference in St. George Utah in 2018. “ Then Lori Vallow comes into the picture, Miss Texas this beautiful, vivacious woman, very sexual person and very manipulative and she knows how to get what she wants," said Prior.

Prior then told the jury what key witnesses he would call to stand including DNA expert, Dr. Greg Hampikian from Boise State. Prior is trying to show that Chad Daybell’s DNA was not found at site where J.J. Vallow and Tylee Ryan’s bodies were discovered. “Dr Hampikian is going to talk about several other hairs that were found on the plastic of J.J. Vallow. He’s also going to say there was no DNA evidence or hair samples of Chad Daybell on Tylee or J.J.," Prior added.

After openings statements, Rexburg Police Detective Lt. Ray Hermosillo was the first witness called to the stand by Prosecutor Rob Wood. The detective told the court, while conducting a wellness check for J.J. Vallow he confronted Lori Vallow’s brother Alex Cox, who was with Chad, and asked if he knew where J.J. was.

"At that point he looked surprised, like he had a frightened look over his face and looked across the pickup at Chad Daybell. They looked at each other and initially neither could answer my question.”

More testimony and more witnesses expected on Thursday. Idaho News Six will be there.