Accused ‘cult’ mother Lori Vallow is one step closer to trial after another busy day in court, during which would-be jurors grilled over twisted elements of the double homicide case.
Jury selection for the much-anticipated murder trial of Vallow, 49, is underway more than three years after the bodies of her children JJ, seven, and Tylee, 16, were found buried at her husband’s property.
Lori and her new husband Chad Daybell, 54, made headlines for enjoying a romantic honeymoon in Hawaii after their children went missing in September 2019.
The two faced greater public scrutiny when Chad’s ex-wife, Tammy Daybell, died in her sleep about a month after the children’s disappearance.
The chilling case inspired widespread true-crime documentaries, making it difficult for an unbiased jury to find now that Vallow’s trial date is here.
After years of trials, a Boise, Idaho court finally began the meticulous task Monday of interviewing would-be jurors about their knowledge of the case.
The judge blocked cameras from the courtroom, meaning all information is from reporters who are physically present.
At the conclusion of Tuesday’s trial, 30 potential jurors were selected to move forward, including “Juror 666,” who was last selected, fox 10 reports.
The juror, who is said to have minored in religious studies, was asked by the judge if Vallow’s “interesting” beliefs posed a problem to him.
Vallow’s husband is accused of running a “doomsday” cult that promoted wild beliefs about “teleportation” and “zombies.”
The group is said to be associated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but taught extreme messages outside of mainstream thought.
Ultimately, the jury said his background in religious studies did not change his treatment of Vallow.
Many who appeared in court were questioned about their news consumption, to determine if they had watched Netflix documentaries or read in-depth theories about the case.
The 28th juror who got through mentioned knowing about Chad Daybell’s late wife, Tammy, which local reports say glared from Vallow.
However, he went on to say that his wife is watching Dateline and he does not know the details of Vallow’s case.
Other would-be jurors said they remembered the message when the children were first found missing or dead, but didn’t keep up with the case after that.
It is unclear how many people received a subpoena for the trial.
The jury’s selection will continue on Wednesday.
On May 25, 2021, an Idaho grand jury indicted Lori and Chad on multiple counts including first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, and grand larceny in connection with the deaths of the children.
Chad was also charged with the murder of his former wife, Tammy, and both he and Lori were charged with conspiracy to murder Tammy’s death.
Lori and Chad both pleaded not guilty to all charges of murder, conspiracy and grand theft.
In a separate case from the murder allegations, Lori was declared mentally unfit to stand trial on charges related to concealing evidence related to the deaths of her children.
Over a year later, in April 2022, Lori was ruled mentally competent to stand trial, with Idaho District Judge Steven Boyce saying she was “recovered and ready to proceed.”
Less than two weeks before Lori was due to appear in court, Judge Boce sided with the defense and allowed her motion to dismiss the death penalty as an option at her trial.
The judge approved the request “to ensure that the defendant’s rights to a fair trial are protected.
Larry Woodcock, JJ’s grandfather, told NewsNation that abolishing the death penalty was a “slap in the face.”
Lori and Chad will be tried separately, as requested by Chad’s attorneys.
It’s unclear when Chad will stand trial, having waved his right to a speedy trial, but he could still face the death penalty.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/7799771/lori-vallow-court-update-jury-selection/ Lori Vallow stars in court as ‘Juror 666’ and others are grilled over Chad Daybell, documentaries and ‘religious beliefs’