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Doomsday cult mom Lori Vallow, who is already facing murder charges in Idaho for the death of her two children, is now facing conspiracy to commit first-degree murder charges in Arizona for the death of her fourth husband, Charles Vallow.
The Maricopa County Attorney announced the latest charges against Lori in a statement Tuesday after a grand jury’s decision to indict her on one count of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder.
Prosecutors allege in the indictment that Lori “agreed” with her brother Alex Cox that “at least one of them” would kill Charles, who was found shot to death in Lori’s home on July 11, 2019.
Cox called 911 that day to report he had shot and killed his brother-in-law, but told police that he had killed Charles in self-defense after Charles struck him in the head with a baseball bat during a heated argument.
No charges were ever filed in the case and Cox himself died in December of that year, but Chandler Police Sgt. Jason McClimans previously told Oxygen.com that Lori had always been considered a “person of interest” in the case.
Investigators have not said what evidence led them to file the charges against Lori for her husband’s slaying.
“Complex, difficult cases of this nature take time to properly investigate and solve," Maricopa County Attorney Allister Adel said the statement released Tuesday. "I appreciate the tremendous number of hours the dedicated officers of the Chandler Police Department have invested, and my office is equally committed to bringing those responsible for Charles Vallow's death to justice."
Lori and her fifth husband, Chad Daybell, are also facing charges of conspiracy to commit murder and first-degree murder in Idaho in connection with death of her children, Joshua “JJ” Vallow and Tylee Ryan.
That case against Lori was stayed last month after a psychological assessment concluded the Idaho mom was “not competent to proceed,” according to court documents obtained by Oxygen.com.
Daybell, meanwhile, entered a not guilty plea to all nine charges against him earlier this month. In addition to the murder charges he’s facing in the deaths of JJ and Tylee, Daybell is also accused of killing his first wife, Tammy Daybell, who was found dead in the couple’s home in October of 2019.
The bodies of both children were discovered buried on his property in June of 2020.
Months before Charles Vallow was killed in 2019, he told a Gilbert Police officer that he was afraid for his life after his wife of nearly 13 years had adopted some bizarre religious beliefs.
“She’s lost her mind; I don’t know how else to say it,” he told the officer, according to body camera footage obtained by KNXV. “We’re LDS, she thinks she’s a resurrected being and a God, a member of the 144,000.”
Charles told police on Jan. 31, 2019 that he had returned home from a trip and discovered that Lori had taken all the money out of their bank account and locked him out of the house. He said that his wife had also threatened him and believed he was possessed by a dark spirit named “Nick Schneider.”
“She said, ‘You’re not Charles,’” he told the officer. “’I don’t know who you are or what you did with Charles, but I can murder you now with my powers.’”
Charles, who would tell friends he was baffled and scared by his wife’s bizarre behavior, filed for divorce just months before he was killed.
His ex-wife Cheryl Wheeler told East Idaho News last year that she had never believed Charles had attacked anyone with a baseball bat the day he died and believed her ex’s death was “100% planned.”
“Charles was a semi-pro baseball player. If he hit Alex in the head with a bat, he would be dead, but Charles was not a violent person,” she said at the time. “We were married and divorced and not one time, not one second, was he ever physically threatening to me.”
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