NewsCrime and Courts


Lori Vallow Daybell to be sentenced in "doomsday mom" murder case of children

Posted at 8:44 AM, Jul 31, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-31 10:44:16-04

Lori Vallow Daybell, whose children's 2019 reported disappearance sparked a nationwide search before their bodies were discovered buried on her husband's Idaho property months later, is set to be sentenced Monday in the murders of 16-year-old Tylee Ryan and 7-year-old Joshua "JJ" Vallow.

In the weekslong trial that stretched from April into mid-May, she was also found guilty of conspiracy in their murders and the murder of her husband Chad's first wife, Tammy Daybell, along with other charges related to the theft of Social Security payments for the children.

Daybell, 50, faces 10 years to life in prison on the first-degree murder charges.

Judge Steven Boyce ruled that immediate family members of the victims could testify at the sentencing hearing, including Daybell's son Colby Ryan, her sister, Summer Shiflet, JJ Vallow's grandmother Kay Woodcock and Tammy Daybell's aunt Vicki Hoban.

Ryan and Shiflet each testified against Vallow Daybell during the trial, and the jury heard emotional jailhouse phone calls of each of them confronting her about the children's murders.

The defense called no witnesses. Vallow Daybell, who had pleaded not guilty, did not take the stand in her own defense.

Some testimony centered on the extreme and apocalyptic religious beliefs of the couple, including in "zombies" and casting out of "evil spirits," while other witnesses recounted gruesome details of the children's deaths and burials.

While Boyce blocked video recordings and live broadcast of the trial, the verdict was livestreamed. He ordered in May that the sentencing hearing in the Fremont County Courthouse, set to begin at 11 a.m. ET, will also be livestreamed.

Vallow Daybell also faces separate charges in the July 2019 death of her husband, Charles Vallow, who was shot by her brother Alex Cox. Cox claimed he shot Vallow in self-defense and was not charged in the shooting. He died in December 2019, after the children had been reported missing but before their bodies were found on Chad Daybell's property.

Vallow Daybell has been charged in Arizona for conspiracy to commit murder in his death. She has also been charged in Arizona for conspiracy for the 2019 attempted shooting of Brandon Boudreaux, who was married to Vallow Daybell's niece. Boudreaux testified in the Idaho trial.

The Maricopa County Attorney's Office told CBS News in May it would begin extradition proceedings following her sentencing in Idaho.

Chad Daybell also faces first-degree murder and conspiracy charges in Idaho the deaths of his first wife, Tammy Daybell, and Vallow Daybell's children, but he waived his right to a speedy trial and is scheduled to be tried April 1, 2024. Unlike his wife, he faces the death penalty.

The two were not permitted to meet or coordinate their defense.