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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Graeme Massie

Smiley Lori Vallow is denied bid for a new trial alongside Chad Daybell

Madison County Sheriff’s Office

An Idea judge has denied “cult mom” Lori Vallow a new trial after she was convicted of murdering her two youngest children and conspiring to murder her new husband Chad Daybell’s first wife.

The 49-year-old mother-of-three was last month found guilty of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and grand theft over the deaths of her daughter Tylee Ryan, 16, and son Joshua “JJ” Vallow, 7, in Ada County Court in BoiseIdaho.

She was also found guilty of conspiracy to commit the murder of Tammy Daybell, the then-wife of Vallow’s husband Mr Daybell.

Her lawyers returned to court on Thursday to argue that she deserved a fresh trial, claiming the jury was confused by misleading instructions, reported KIFI.

Her defence team argued that the court should overturn her previous trial and that she be re-tried along with Mr Daybell, who will face a jury next year.

They also argued that one juror, who later appeared in media interviews, knew about evidence not presented at trial.

Vallow was smiling as she arrived in court wearing an orange and white prison jumpsuit, with her feet shackled together, reported KIFI.

District Judge Steven Boyce rejected the claims and she is scheduled to be sentenced on 31 July at the Fremont County Courthouse. Chad Daybell’s trial is scheduled for 1 April, 2024.

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.

Lori Vallow talks with lawyers at trial as a jury convicted her (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

This bizarre spate of disappearances and death came just months after Vallow’s fourth husband Charles Vallow was shot dead by Vallow’s brother Alex Cox in Arizona in July 2019.

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.

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 gruelling 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.

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