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Lori Vallow appears in court for hearing, attorney's argue indictment language unclear

Lori Vallow hearing August 2022
Posted at 12:16 PM, Aug 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-16 14:16:30-04

ST. ANTHONY, Idaho — Lori Vallow appeared in court Tuesday where her attorneys argued language in the grand jury indictment against her is unclear.

During Tuesday's hearing, presided over by District Judge Steven Boyce in Fremont County Court, Vallow's defense attorney John Thomas argued several counts in the grand jury indictment will be confusing to jurors in trial and should be returned to the grand jury. Thomas argued counts one and three, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and grand theft by deception, should be considered two crimes.

"A person's life is on the line," Thomas said.

Related: Lori Vallow's attorneys ask grand jury indictment to be returned for clarification

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Vallow if she is convicted "for any of the counts of first degree murder and/or any of the counts of conspiracy to commit first degree murder."

Vallow and Chad Daybell are charged with multiple counts of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder for the deaths of 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow, 16-year-old Tylee Ryan — two of Lori’s kids — and Chad’s first wife, Tammy Daybell. Prosecutors are also pursuing the death penalty in Chad’s case.

Prosecuting attorney Rob Wood argued a grand jury will find the counts go together because "you don't even need to complete a crime for a conspiracy to be found," he said. Wood said the larger charges would "swallow up" the lesser charges and asked the court to deny the motion.

Boyce said the court will take the requests under advisement and will make a written ruling on the matter.

Daybell was originally set to also appear in court Tuesday for the hearing with his attorney John Prior to discuss a motion regarding DNA testing but an agreement was previously reached with prosecutors, East Idaho News reports.