Prosecutor no longer disputes the competency of Lori Vallow Daybell

Posted at 2:08 PM, Jun 07, 2021

This article was originally published by Eric Grossarth in East Idaho News.

The prosecutor in the Lori Vallow Daybell case no longer contests the findings of a psychologist who believes Daybell is not competent for court proceedings.

In a document filed Friday, Rob Wood withdrew his contest to a competency evaluation that has put the case against Daybell on hold. Wood initially said he did not agree with the findings of the mental health expert but after further review, he longer objects to the professional’s diagnosis and proposed treatment plan.

Daybell and her husband Chad Daybell are charged with multiple counts of conspiracy to commit murder, first-degree murder and other crimes. The charges are in relation to 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.

Mark Means, Daybell’s defense attorney, requested a psychological evaluation for his client in March. A licensed clinical psychologist met with Daybell in the Madison County Jail on at least two days and, according to court documents filed last month, determined “the defendant was not competent to proceed.” Restorative treatment was recommended.

While District Judge Steven Boyce put a stay on the case, he still needs to legally declare Daybell is unfit for trial.

In order for Daybell to be competent for trial, Idaho law says she must understand the proceedings against her and be able to assist in her own defense. If Boyce rules she cannot, hearings are put on hold for 90 days.

Daybell will likely be placed in a facility for treatment with the goal of getting her competent. If that happens, court proceedings resume as normal. If not, the pause extends another 180 days, and she would continue to receive treatment.

A June 16 hearing to determine Daybell’s competency status will likely be canceled.

Chad Daybell is scheduled for his District Court arraignment on Wednesday.