REXBURG, Idaho — This article was written by Eric Grossarth with East Idaho News.
Lori Vallow Daybell’s attorney is asking the Madison County Prosecutor’s Office to hand over multiple documents, including autopsy reports for Tammy Daybell, Charles Vallow and others.
In a request for discovery, defense attorney Mark Means asked for all items related to investigations involving his client. Daybell is charged with two counts of felony child abandonment, misdemeanor resisting and obstructing an officer, solicitation of a crime and contempt of court.
The charges are related to the disappearance of her children, 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow and 17-year-old Tylee Ryan, who haven’t been seen since September.
Discovery requestIn the newly filed documents, Means asks Madison County Prosecutor Rob Wood for the toxicology and autopsy reports for two of Daybell’s former husbands, Charles Vallow and Joe Ryan, and her brother, Alex Cox. Daybell’s attorney also requested the same reports related to the death of Tammy Daybell, the late wife of Chad Daybell. Tammy’s Oct. 19 death has been called suspicious and Chad married Lori weeks later.
Fremont County Sheriff Len Humphries told EastIdahoNews.com Tuesday that his office had not received the results of Tammy’s autopsy.
Means is also requesting the names of all investigating authorities and the communication they made during the course of their investigations. He is asking for two years’ worth of emails from Lori’s computer, social media postings, dating and romantic website information along with all financial records. Included in the request are records from Lori telephone, laptop and other items, saying they belong to her.
In the request, Means asked for all documents, recordings, written evidence, photographs, videos, records, reports, text, emails, financials and other information related to a lengthy list of individuals, including Kay and Larry Woodcock (JJ’s grandparents), Brandon Boudreaux (Lori’s former nephew-in-law) and others.
Means asked for the discovery to be provided to his office within 15 days.
The request comes after the attorney already received 1,600 pages of documents and records along with 14.6 gigabytes of photos, videos and other electronic information in preparation for Lori’s preliminary hearing on May 7 and 8. Means said that number will likely increase to over 10,000 pages and more than 200 gigabytes of files.
Bail reduction requestIn a separate motion filed Thursday, Means requested another hearing before Magistrate Judge Michelle Mallard to reduce Lori’s $1 million bail. He wrote that a March 24 request for a bail reduction hearing had been ignored and then, on March 30, he traveled from Boise to Rexburg to visit with Lori at the Madison County Jail.
“Upon arriving at said Detention Center, I was required, with no attorney/client option, to the sole option of communicating with my client in the public visitor meeting room, wall of glass between attorney and client, over a recorded telephone line,” Means wrote. “I was told that the ONLY way that my client could review documents was to pass possibly sensitive documents/records by and through a Detention Center Officer from the public (my side) room ‘…round and about…’ through multiple security doors to the inmate (client’s side). All of which would be out of sight of the Attorney and Client.”
Means said what happened was “unreasonable and in direct violation of the Regulations, Law and Constitution of the State of Idaho and the United States of America” and that the procedures prevent him from properly preparing for the preliminary hearing.
Prosecutor respondsIn an objection to the bond reduction request Tuesday, Madison County Prosecuting Attorney Rob Wood responded to Means and said the jail’s visitation practices are due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“What was the public visitation center is now being used for attorneys to visit their clients in a safe manner, which does not allow for the spread of the COVID-19 virus into the jail,” Wood wrote.
Wood admitted the conversation between Lori and Means was accidentally recorded, but jail staff “promptly deleted the recording.” He said all recordings in the visiting area have now been blocked to prevent any future accidental tapings.
Means originally asked Magistrate Judge Faren Eddins to drop Lori’s bond from $5 million to $10,000 on March 6. Eddins lowered the amount to $1 million, and she then asked that the judge be disqualified from the case.
“It has been less than one month since the Court reduced the defendant’s bail to $1,000,000.00 and it appears to be an abuse of the Court Rules for the Defendant to disqualify the judge on the case and then to request the same or similar relief so soon thereafter,” Wood wrote, before pointing out that Lori’s children are still missing.
“The defendant has yet to comply with the valid court order to produce her children in the related child protection action,” he said. “This court should make obedience to said order or show of good cause for why the defendant cannot obey said order condition for any further bail reduction.”
As of Tuesday, a bond reduction hearing had not been scheduled.