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Lori Vallow's Attorney Wants Trial Moved, Arguing She Can't Get Fair Trial For Deaths Of Her Children In Idaho Community

Lori Vallow's attorney, Mark Means, has filed a request to move the trial outside of Fremont County — where both children's bodies were discovered in June of 2020 — because he said it would be impossible to find a "fair and impartial jury" in the community.

By Jill Sederstrom
Chad Daybell Lori Vallow Ap

Lori Vallow wants her trial moved out of Fremont County—where the bodies of her two children were discovered buried last year—arguing that it would be impossible for her to receive a fair and impartial trial in the Idaho community.

Vallow’s attorney, Mark Means, filed a motion, obtained by Oxygen.com, to transfer the case to another venue late last month. In the brief motion, he said he was making the request because “a fair and impartial jury trial cannot be had in Fremont County.”

Means did not provide any additional details about why the request would be necessary other than to say that he planned to submit evidence supporting the change at a later date and requested a briefing to further discuss the matter.

Vallow is facing two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of conspiracy to commit murder in the deaths of her children Joshua “JJ” Vallow, 7, and Tylee Ryan, 16.

Both children disappeared, weeks apart, in September of 2019 shortly after Vallow moved to Idaho to be closer to Chad Daybell, a religious author who often wrote about an impending apocalypse.

Daybell’s first wife, Tammy, was found dead in the couple’s home the month after the children disappeared. Daybell and Vallow are also both facing charges of conspiracy to commit murder in her death after authorities said the pair had allegedly conspired together—along with Vallow’s brother, Alex Cox—to kill the 49-year-old as part of a “continuing criminal transaction” or “scheme,” according to an indictment in the case obtained by Oxygen.com.

Daybell is also charged with first-degree murder in Tammy’s death.

Before Tammy died, investigators said Vallow and Daybell had shared text messages between one another claiming that she was in “limbo” and had been possessed by a dark spirit named Viola, according to the indictment. Chad allegedly had increased his wife’s life insurance policy just one month before she was found dead.

Vallow’s fourth husband, Charles Vallow, was also killed in July of 2019. Cox fatally shot him in Vallow’s Arizona home, telling investigators that he killed Charles in self-defense; however, just last week the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office announced that Vallow was being charged with conspiracy to commit murder in that case as well.

Prosecutors say Vallow “agreed with” Cox—who is now deceased—to carry out first-degree murder.

With both of their spouses dead, Vallow and Daybell got married in Hawaii in November of 2019.

While investigators began searching for Vallow’s missing children, the couple fled to Hawaii, where they lived for months before Vallow was arrested for deserting the children and returned to Idaho, according to a probable cause affidavit previously obtained by Oxygen.com.

Daybell was arrested in June of 2020 after the bodies of both children were found buried on his property, according to the affidavit.

Daybell has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.

Vallow was ordered to mental health facility by a judge last month after an earlier ruling declared her mentally unfit to stand trial in her children’s deaths, according to NBC News.

She was ordered to be held at the facility for “care and treatment” for no more than 90 days.