An Idaho jury found Lori Vallow Daybell guilty on all counts Friday for the murder of her two children and plotting to kill her husband’s ex-wife.
The conviction comes after a three-year investigation into the 2019 deaths of Vallow’s children, 16-year-old Tylee Ryan and 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow. Vallow was indicted alongside her husband, Chad Daybell, in the slayings of the children. Daybell is also facing a first-degree murder charge in the death of his ex-wife, Tammy Daybell, who was found dead in October 2019. Vallow was charged with conspiracy in Tammy Daybell’s death.
Vallow was found guilty on two counts of first-degree murder and three counts of conspiracy, as well as grand theft charges for collecting Social Security benefits on behalf of Ryan and JJ Vallow after their deaths. She had pleaded not guilty to all counts.
Idaho Judge Steven Boyce previously granted a request from Vallow’s lawyers to take the death penalty off the table, according to The New York Times. The convict now awaits a sentencing date where she will face life in prison.
Ryan and JJ Vallow were first reported missing in November 2019 by JJ’s grandparents, Larry and Kay Woodcock. After Friday’s verdict, Larry Woodcock addressed reporters outside the Boise, Idaho, courthouse, issuing thanks to the jurors. Woodcock also gave a “final message” to Vallow, which was posted to Twitter by News Nation.
“Turn out the lights. Party’s over,” he said. “They say that that all good things must end. Lori, it ended.”
As he concluded his statements, Woodcock also gave a message to the deceased.
“JJ, I love you. Papa wishes you were here,” he said. “Tylee, Papa loves you. Tammy, I never met you. Tammy, you are part of our life. Tammy I am sorry for what happened to you. My heart hurts for these three.”
Prosecutors said that both Vallow and Daybell had previously been involved in a cult-like, “doomsday” belief system, and that Vallow believed her children were “zombies” that had been possessed by evil spirits.
Vallow was served an order in January 2020 to prove that her missing children were alive and well, a moment that was caught on video showing both Vallow and Daybell sunbathing in Hawaii while her children were presumably missing. After she failed to prove her children were alive, she was arrested the following month.
In June 2020, investigators found human remains buried on Daybell’s property that were later identified as belonging to Ryan and JJ Vallow, reported the Times.
Vallow was also convicted of conspiracy related to the murder of her ex-husband Charles Vallow, who was shot and killed by her now-deceased brother, Alex Cox, in July 2019. Cox claimed he fatally shot Charles Vallow out of self-defense and never faced charges. Cox died in December 2019, reportedly from a blood clot in his lung.
Vallow’s trail had been delayed for years after she was initially declared not competent to stand trial and required to receive psychiatric treatment. A trial date has yet to be set for Daybell.
Newsweek has reached out via email to Vallow’s attorney, Jim Archibald, for comment on today’s verdict.
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