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Judge Denies Lori Vallow’s Bid To Have Triple Murder Charges Dropped
“The government has violated her right to a speedy trial,” lawyers for Lori Vallow Daybell said in court filings.
Accused child-killer and doomsday-cult mom Lori Vallow Daybell will stand trial on triple murder charges, an Idaho judge ruled this week.
Seventh District Judge Steven Boyce denied a motion from Vallow’s defense lawyers, which had petitioned the court to drop the charges against her on the basis that prosecutors had allegedly violated her constitutional right to speedy trial.
Her lawyers blasted the court’s latest decision regarding the approaching trial.
“Here we are with a trial set that the defense knows is outside the time of speedy trial, the state knows is outside the time of speedy trial, so what’s the remedy?” attorney Jim Archibald stated during a hearing last week, Law & Crime reported.
“The Idaho legislature says the remedy is for the indictment to be dismissed. The speedy trial obligation is on the prosecution, not the judge, not the defendant, not the defense lawyers. The obligation to respect a speedy trial right is on the government, the prosecution.”
Last month, Vallow’s legal team filed a motion arguing that the state violated Idaho law and the federal constitution, pointing out that the jailed 49-year-old had been in pre-trial lock-up for more than 1,169 days.
“The government has violated her right to a speedy trial,” Archibald and Vallow’s other defense lawyer, John Thomas, wrote in the pre-trial filing earlier this month.
Boyce, the trial’s judge, however, ultimately disagreed, concluding that the duration of Vallow’s detention was justifiable due to the complexity of the case. He noted many of the delays involved multiple hearings that pertained to Vallow’s competency.
Vallow’s trial was briefly suspended in 2022 after a judge ordered her to undergo a competency evaluation. She was ultimately restored to competency weeks later and the trial was rescheduled.
Boyce also split with the defense in terms of how many days Vallow has officially been in custody. Although Vallow was indicted in May 2021, the court ruled that her pre-trial detention only began nearly a year later, following her arraignment on April 19, 2022.
Vallow and her fifth husband, 54-year-old Chad Daybell, are facing murder charges in the 2019 deaths of her children, 7-year-old Joshua “JJ Vallow and 17-year-old Tylee Ryan, who mysteriously vanished in September 2019. The dismembered bodies of Joshua Vallow and Ryan were later located in shallow graves on Daybell’s property in June 2020.
Vallow and Daybell have pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Despite efforts by both the state and defense to further delay current proceedings in the triple murder case, the judge’s latest ruling means the trial is now slated to open on April 3.
“On balance, though the court is mindful of the overall length of time Lori has been in custody on charges preceding the indictment, and the potential anxieties or concerns Lori has in a long pretrial incarceration, the relevant time frame to consider the merits of a motion to dismiss the indictment for lack of a speedy trial cuts against finding an intolerable delay given this exceptionally complex conspiracy case,” Boyce said in court filings obtained by Oxygen.com. “The delay is, as a whole, minimal given the overall charges and maximum penalties imposed.”
Vallow’s lawyers previously filed a motion that would spare her from capital punishment if convicted in the trio of killings.