After Finding Chad Daybell Guilty of Three Murders, Jurors Consider the Death Penalty

An Idaho jury started debating whether Chad Daybell would get the death sentence for killing his first wife and two of his second wife’s children on Friday, one day after returning a guilty verdict in his murder trial.

Chad Daybell Guilty of Three Murders:

An Idaho jury started debating whether Chad Daybell would get the death sentence for killing his first wife and two of his second wife’s children on Friday, one day after returning a guilty verdict in his murder trial.

After his wife Tammy Daybell and two of his second wife’s children, Joshua “JJ” Vallow, 7, and Tylee Ryan, 16, died, Daybell was found guilty on Thursday of first-degree murder and conspiracy. The prosecution claims that Daybell’s actions were driven by apocalyptic spiritual beliefs, sex, money, and power.

Jurors weigh death penalty for Chad Daybell1

Shortly after the guilty verdict was returned, state judge Steven Boyce gave the jury preliminary directions to start the sentence part of Daybell’s trial. After hearing victim impact testimonials and opposing legal representations of the guy, jurors decided his fate on Friday afternoon.

Prosecutor Rob Wood urged the jury to examine aggravating circumstances that may qualify Daybell for the death penalty during his opening remarks on Friday.

He stated that the three homicides were carried out with payment in mind. Daybell was found guilty of insurance fraud as well because of life insurance policies that he claimed provided him with money following the passing of his first wife. Daybell and his second wife were found guilty of grand theft as well because Daybell kept receiving Social Security payments for her children even after they passed away.

Furthermore, Wood stated to the jury that the three victims’ killings were “particularly heinous, atrocious or cruel, manifesting exceptional depravity.”

“This defendant showed complete indifference for human life,” Wood continued. “The defendant has demonstrated a tendency to murder by his conduct, whether such conduct occurred before, during, or following the commission of the murders at hand. This will likely pose a continuing threat to society.”

“Whether one or more of these aggravators has been proven is up to you,” the prosecution said in closing. If so, you must determine whether the death sentence would be appropriate or inappropriate.

The decision was made almost a year after Daybell’s second wife, Lori Vallow Daybell, was found guilty of killing her children and given a life sentence without the chance of release. She was also found guilty of plotting Tammy Daybell’s murder. Vallow Daybell’s legal team has raised the question of whether or not she was mentally competent to stand trial in her appeal of her convictions to the state Supreme Court.

Authorities have stated that Tammy Daybell was discovered dead in her Idaho home on October 19, 2019, a few weeks before Chad Daybell married Vallow Daybell, and that they suspect Tylee and JJ were slain in September 2019, the month in which they were last known to have been seen.

Speaking to the jury, Daybell was previously described as a “quiet, reserved, shy young man” who grew up in Springville, Utah, a small, close-knit “town of faith,” by defense attorney John Prior on Friday. Daybell met Tammy, his first wife and the two of them raised five “wonderful” children who were “very deep in their faith, very deep in their commitment to family,” according to Daybell’s attorney. They were married for 29 years.

However, Prior said that Daybell’s life turned for the worst in late 2018 when he met Vallow Daybell, who had already been married several times.

He informed the jury, “Everything that glitters is not gold.” Lori Vallow shone brightly. She wasn’t made of gold. She was the path that caused the plan to alter. When chaos strikes, everything escalates, making the situation extremely challenging and complex.

According to Prior, “the small town boy from Springville” felt like “this bomb dropped” on his life when he started dating Vallow.

“It’s something we need to review,” he stated. “You investigate Chad Daybell’s history before the Lori Vallow bomb was detonated… Would we still travel in this direction if that trajectory hadn’t entered and altered the course? That is not our intended destination.

Chad Daybell’s Guilty Statements:

On Friday, the jurors also heard from the victims’ families.

Ron Douglas, Tammy Daybell’s father, told jurors, “Knowing Tammy was treated the way she was makes me angry and destroys me.” “Knowing that Tammy is buried alone and close to her cherished mother in Utah gives me comfort.”

Kay Woodcock talked about her step-niece Tylee and her grandson JJ.

She stated, “I try to explain the immense pain that I and everyone in my family continue to go through daily as I sit here today.” “But how can I carry that out?”

“It’s been far too frequent in the last few years that we’ve been hit with the realization that JJ won’t reach another milestone,” she remarked about her grandson. “Who would he have become is the unanswered question. How could he have been a man?

Woodcock described Tylee as “the most precious, blond-haired, blue-eyed little girl” and a “true mama’s girl.”

Woodcock said, sobbing, “There’s a hole in my heart that can never be filled and will remain for the rest of my life, in the hearts of every member of my family.”

Annie Cushing, Tylee’s aunt, recalled the girl singing with “the voice of an angel” as she strolled around the home.

It had Tylee’s entire life ahead of her. She had aspirations, ambitions, and dignity. Cushing stated, “This defendant stole all of that.”

Tammy’s sister-in-law, Kelsee Douglas, informed the jury that “pain, fractured relationships, and unhealed wounds are all part of the aftermath” following the killings.

She said, “This is the legacy of pain and suffering that will follow our family for many generations.”

Tammy’s brother, Michael Douglas, expressed regret, saying, “The nightmare fodder I have been provided will last me a lifetime.”

Daybell refrained from speaking to the court following the victim impact reports.

In June 2020, officials claimed they discovered Tylee and JJ’s bodies on Chad Daybell’s Fremont County ranch.

“This is a depressing day. After the decision on Thursday, JJ’s grandfather, Larry Woodcock, stated that his grandson would have been 12 years old.

Woodcock again posed the same question while recalling the victims.

What were their accomplishments? Nothing. How did they act? Woodcock said of Daybell and Lori Vallow Daybell, “They destroyed families.”

However, Larry Woodcock stated that the defendants were unable to erase the recollections that the victims’ families held. He said, getting passionate at one point, “They can’t take that.” He claimed he felt like gasping for air after hearing the jury’s decision in court.

Important Trial Objectives:

The defense lawyer and the prosecutor presented opposing views of the defendant during opening comments.

The state characterized him as an arrogant, power-hungry individual who would do whatever it took to achieve “what he considered his rightful destiny.” His defense attorney characterized Daybell as a devout guy who was duped into an unsuitable marriage by a “beautiful, vivacious woman” who understood “how to get what she wants.”

In his opening remarks to the jury at the beginning of the trial, Wood stated, “Two dead children buried in the defendant Chad Daybell’s backyard.”

“His wife is discovered dead in their shared bed the following month. This defendant is shown happy and dancing on a Hawaiian beach at his wedding to Lori Vallow, his lover and the mother of the children interred in his property’s graves, seventeen days following the passing of his wife, Tammy Daybell—three corpses.

Daybell “made sure that no person and no law would stand in his way” when he “had a chance at what he considered his rightful destiny,” according to Wood.

The prosecution said, “His desire for sex, money, and power led him to pursue those ambitions.” “And as a result of this pursuit, his wife and Lori’s two defenseless children died.”

Less than three weeks after Tammy Daybell died in 2019, Chad Daybell remarried. Initially, it was thought that Tammy Daybell had passed away while sleeping.

Daybell’s life took a turn for the worst, according to Prior, when he met Vallow Daybell, a “beautifully stunning woman” who “started giving him a lot of attention” and finally tricked him into an “unfortunate” and “inappropriate” extramarital affair.

Vallow Daybell’s two children from a prior marriage were last spotted in September 2019. According to Wood, Tylee Ryan was a “normal, vibrant teenage girl” who enjoyed her friends. Her younger brother, JJ, had autism and needed particular care.

Since they hadn’t spoken to JJ in a while, family members contacted the police in Rexburg, Idaho, to do a welfare check on him in late November 2019. Authorities say they saw Vallow Daybell and Daybell, who indicated JJ was staying with a family friend in Arizona, but they could not locate him at the family’s residence.

The pair was gone when police arrived with a search warrant. In the end, they were discovered in Hawaii in January 2020.

On Daybell’s land in Fremont County, Idaho, authorities discovered Tylee and JJ’s bones in June 2020. In May 2021, Vallow Daybell and Daybell received a murder indictment.

Prosecutors said that Tylee and JJ were slain between September 8 and 9, 2019, and September 22 and 23, respectively.

“The family issued a statement following the discovery of the remains in which they expressed their unfathomable sorrow at the loss of these two brilliant lights and expressed their wish that they passed away painlessly.”

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