Lori Vallow files motion to disqualify prosecuting attorney

Posted at 11:47 AM, Dec 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-16 13:49:45-05

REXBURG, Idaho — Lori Vallow filed a motion Wednesday to disqualify prosecuting attorney Robert Wood after allegedly attempting to coerce Vallow's biological sister. The motion also requests extended time to allow the defense to review the new evidence that was not included in any of the State's discovery responses.

According to court documents, the motion is based on a new audio recording between Wood and Vallow's sister, Summer Shiflet, in October 2020.

"The recording clearly illustrates Mr. Wood's attempt to coerce, unduly influence, coach, and or intimated said material witness to this case," the motion states.

The court documents also say there is another audio recording of Wood interviewing another witness, Zulema Pastenes, around the same time discussing matters that support the state's position of the case.

Vallow and her defense team say Wood violated the due process rights to a fair and impartial trial by allegedly coercing witnesses in the case and that Wood violated the Idaho Rules of Professional Conduct and the ABA rules by what is on the audio recording. The defense also alleges the misconduct by Wood "has caused the potential for future civil directed at or involving Fremont County, Madison County, as well as the prosecutor and any and other entities involved or associated with this misconduct," according to the court documents.

If the judge grants it, the motion will disqualify Wood as a prosecutor. He would appear as a witness in the hearing and the court would allow for out-of-state subpoenas of the other parties to the audio recording. All fees would be waived and the audio would be submitted as evidence in the hearing to support the motion.

Vallow's jury trial is scheduled for July 12, 2021. She pleaded not guilty to two felony counts of conspiracy to commit destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence in September. The charges are punishable up to five years in prison a $10,000 fine per charge.