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Lori Vallow, the mother of two missing Idaho children, smiled in court Friday as her bail was reduced to $1 million.
Vallow’s children, 17-year-old Tylee Ryan and 7-year-old Joshua “J.J.” Vallow, remain missing months after they were last seen alive.
Vallow, also known as Lori Vallow Daybell, appeared for the first time in the packed courtroom Friday wearing an orange and white striped jail uniform and bright lipstick as her new husband Chad Daybell sat nearby, according to East Idaho News.
The Idaho mother has been charged with two counts of felony child abandonment, misdemeanor resisting and obstructing an officer, solicitation of a crime and contempt of court after she failed to present the children to authorities by a January deadline. She was arrested in Kauai and extradited to Idaho, where she was initially held on $5 million bond.
In court Friday, Vallow’s attorney Edwina Elcox had argued that her bail should be reduced to $10,000, arguing that the $5 million bond was “unreasonable” and “astronomically excessive,” given the charges against her.
Elcox also argued that her client was not a flight risk and that the case was being tried in the media.
“The last thing that should happen is to allow this case to be tried in the media and to allow public opinion and rampant speculation to dictate how the case proceeds through the judicial system,” Elcox said, according to the Idaho State Journal.
Prosecutor Rob Wood argued, however, that Vallow “cannot be trusted to obey a court order,” and referenced her previous failure to obey the directive from law enforcement to present the children to authorities, People reports.
“The defendant also tried to mislead law enforcement about the whereabouts of her children and in furtherance of that, she tried to convince a family friend to say the children were with them, even though they weren’t,” Wood said, according to the Idaho State Journal.
The prosecutor also listed the possible prison sentence of up to 30 years if she’s convicted of all the charges against her as another reason she may be tempted to flee.
Magistrate Judge Faren Eddins agreed to lower the bail but only to $1 million. If Vallow is able to post bond, she will be required to wear an ankle monitor and will be required to stay within Bonneville, Jefferson, Madison and Fremont Counties.
After the hearing, J.J’s biological grandparents addressed the media and continued to express concern about the safety of the children.
“I don’t care what the judicial system does or doesn’t do to Lori,” J.J.’s grandfather Larry Woodcock said, according to East Idaho News. “But I do care what (has) happened to Tylee and to J.J. … It’s not whether I like Lori or whether I like Chad. This is about finding two children.”
J.J, who was adopted by Vallow and her late husband Charles Vallow and is said to have autism, was last seen on Sept. 23 at his elementary school. The following day Lori Vallow contacted the school to tell officials she planned to homeschool him, according to affidavit of probable cause released by the Madison County Prosecuting Attorney.
Tylee Ryan was last seen several weeks earlier during a family trip to Yellowstone National Park.
Vallow’s older son Colby Ryan also addressed the media Friday afternoon and said he was hoping to speak with his mother about the whereabouts of his siblings.
“I want to get in front of her,” he said. “Obviously, she’s my mom and I’m very concerned about my siblings.”
Chad Daybell, a religious author who writes about preparing for the end of the world, did not address the media.
He and Vallow were married on Nov. 5 after a series of unusual deaths surrounding the couple.
Vallow’s husband Charles Vallow was shot to death by her brother, Alex Cox, over the summer in Arizona. Cox, who later died himself in December, had claimed the July shooting was in self-defense. No official charges were ever filed in the case.
In October, just two weeks before Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow got married, Chad Daybell’s 49-year-old wife Tammy died. Officials initially believed she had died of “natural” causes but have since designated the death as suspicious.
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