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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Rachel Sharp

Lori Vallow’s nephew-in-law says she’s not ‘inherently evil’ as she faces new charges for his attempted murder


Lori Vallow’s nephew-in-law has spoken out following her murder conviction to say that he believes people “are not inherently good or evil” as she faces new charges for his own attempted murder.

Brandon Boudreaux released a lengthy statement in which he called for “forgiveness” for the doomsday cult mom who was found guilty of murdering her two children Tylee Ryan, 16, and Joshua “JJ” Vallow and conspiring to murder her new husband Chad Daybell’s first wife.

“We recognize that people are not inherently good or evil. It’s what makes these tragic events so much harder for those of us who were all affected by these crimes,” he said.

“While we do not glory in any conviction, we recognize the importance of holding accountable those who would commit such terrible atrocities.”

Mr Boudreaux also invoked Bible scripture and hinted that he questions the extent to which some of the alleged co-conspirators made a conscious “choice” in what they did.

“Many people have been involved in these events, some by choice and others perhaps not. Regardless of how they are involved, we encourage all to consider that this world is already so full of divisiveness,” he said.

“We advocate for forgiveness and privacy where possible. We live by the hope that the worst part of our lives does not become who we are. We do not condone nor encourage less prosecution for those accountable, but instead, encourage true change and accountability for those involved.

“We hope for sincere forgiveness for those affected that they might not carry the burden of hatred with the pain of loss.”

Mr Boudreaux was married to Vallow’s niece Melani Pawlowski for ten years and they shared five children together.

He testified in Vallow’s high-profile murder trial that everything “got more bizarre” in 2018 when Ms Pawlowski became more involved in the doomsday cult with Vallow and Mr Daybell.

The couple divorced and he was living in a new home in Arizona when, on 2 October 2019, he was the victim of a failed shooting attempt.

Mr Boudreaux testified that he was returning home from the gym one morning having dropped his children off at school when he saw a gun with a silencer sticking out of the back window of a jeep – which matched the vehicle belonging to murdered teenager Tylee.

Lori Vallow after learning her fate in Ada County Court in Boise, Idaho, on Friday (AP)

The shooter fired but missed before driving off.

The botched hit came days before Tammy’s murder and one month after JJ and Tylee were last seen alive.

Jurors heard at Vallow’s trial that the cult mom and her inner circle considered Mr Boudreaux an “obstacle” and a “dark” spirit – the same language used for all the murder victims.

Following Vallow’s conviction on Friday, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office in Arizona announced that prosecutors plan to hit her with new charges over Mr Boudreaux’s attempted murder.

This comes in addition to the charge of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder in the death of Vallow’s fourth husband Charles Vallow – who was shot dead by her brother Alex Cox in July 2019.

Vallow will be extradited to Arizona to face the charges after her sentencing in Idaho.

Mr Boudreaux paid tribute to Charles, JJ, Tylee and Tammy as he thanked officials for their “effort and time” in all the cases “to bring forward the truth”.

“Tylee and JJ will be forever missed. They are precious and unique and will always be loved,” he said.

“We mourn the loss of them, we also mourn Charles as many have seen he was truly a good man. He loved his family and showed his love by providing so much for so many who knew him. He was always quick to make all feel welcome and he never let anyone go without. He was quick to spoil his family. He is missed every day.

Brandon Boudreaux in a courtroom sketch (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

“We wish all of you could have known the good times our families shared: Disney, beaches, football games and holidays are treasured memories. As we have watched silently while complete strangers rally for justice, we thank you for standing for truth.

“We mourn with the Daybell and Douglas families. We never met Tammy but she and you have been in our most sincere prayers. We can’t imagine the pain of your loss and hope that this process might help with healing and closure.”

Vallow, 49, was found guilty of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and grand theft over the deaths of her daughter Tylee and son JJ in Ada County Court in Boise, Idaho, on Friday.

She was also found guilty of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder in the death of Mr Daybell’s first wife Tammy, 49.

JJ and Tylee vanished without a trace back in September 2019, with their mother refusing to reveal their whereabouts to both authorities and the children’s desperate family members.

One month later, Tammy – an otherwise healthy 49-year-old – also died suddenly. Her death was initially ruled natural causes.

With Vallow’s children and both of their spouses then out of the way, she and Mr Daybell embarked on a new life together – flying to Hawaii to get married in a fairytale wedding on the beach.

But, with months passing since the last signs of life of Vallow’s children, concerns continued to grow, prompting authorities to exhume Tammy’s body. A subsequent autopsy revealed that she had died by asphyxiation.

In June 2020 – nine months after they were last seen alive – Tylee and JJ’s remains were found buried on the grounds of Mr Daybell’s property in Rexburg, Idaho.

JJ, who had autism, had been smothered with a plastic bag taped over his face, his little body still dressed in a pair of red pyjamas. Tylee’s cause of death meanwhile has been impossible to establish as the teenager’s dismembered, charred bones and body parts were found scattered in the ground on Mr Daybell’s pet cemetery.

Tylee Ryan and Joshua “JJ” Vallow pictured together (Family handout)

Jurors in Ada County Court in Boise, Idaho, took almost seven hours to find Vallow guilty on all charges over the three murders after a grueling six-week trial where the panel heard harrowing details about the doomsday mom’s path of deadly destruction and were shown graphic images of the murdered children’s remains.

The state called over 60 witnesses to lay out its case that Vallow was motivated by both her doomsday cult beliefs but also lust for Mr Daybell and financial greed when she conspired with him and her brother Cox to kill the three victims.

During closing arguments, prosecutors argued that Ms Vallow had been driven by “money, power and sex” to kill the three victims.

Mr Daybell is due to go on trial in 2024 over the three murders.

Meanwhile, Cox won’t ever be have his day in court after he died suddenly aged 51 on 11 December 2019 – hours after Tammy’s body was exhumed.

His death was also ruled natural causes, with indications of a blood clot wedged in the arteries of his lungs. However the overdose drug Narcan was also found in his system.

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