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Crime News Family Crimes

Lori Vallow's Brother Alex Cox Feared He Would Be 'Fall Guy' For Her And Chad Daybell The Night Before His Death

"He said, 'I think I am being their fall guy,'" Alex Cox's wife, Zulema Pastenes, said at Lori Vallow's murder trial Friday. "I said, 'Fall guy for what? What have you done that you would be the fall guy?'"

By Christina Coulter
Killer Motive: What Drives People To Kill?

Lori Vallow's brother Alex Cox expressed fears that he would be his sister and Chad Daybell's "fall guy" the night before his death and "believed everything" that the "Doomsday cult" couple told him, according to his wife's testimony Friday in Vallow's ongoing murder trial. 

Cox shot dead his sister's ex-husband, 62-year-old Charles Vallow, in July of 2019. He claimed self defense and was never charged, according to Local 8 News

RELATED: Secretly Recorded Call Between Lori Vallow And Her Once Close Friend Played For Jurors

After her current trial for conspiracy and murder in the deaths of her two children, 7-year-old Joshua J.J. Vallow and 16-year-old Tylee Ryan, Vallow is also facing charges in Arizona for conspiracy to commit murder in her ex-husband's death.

Lori Vallow Daybell sits in a police car.

At the Ada County Courthouse in Boise, Idaho on Friday, Zulema Pastenes said that Daybell called her husband Cox the evening before he died on Dec. 12, 2019, to tell him that the body of Tammy Daybell, Chad Daybell's ex-wife, was being exhumed. 

Prosecutors accuse Vallow and Daybell — who belong to a Doomsday cult called "Preparing a People" — of orchestrating the murders of Charles, Tammy, and Vallow's children to fulfill an end-of-days prophecy in which Vallow was a "god assigned to carry out the work of the 144,000 at Christ's second coming in July 2020."

In her Friday testimony, Pastenes elaborated that Daybell "claimed he had been the heavenly father and Jesus and the Holy Ghost" and that "he had chosen [Vallow] to be his wife and they had already been seven times on earth."

Cox has been a central figure in Vallow and Daybell's alleged plot. The remains of Vallow's children, who were reported missing in 2019, were found on Daybell's Idaho property in June of 2020. Cox's phone records placed him at the property on two dates that coincided with the last time the two children were seen, according to local outlet KTVB.  

When 49-year-old Tammy died on Oct. 19, 2019, weeks before Vallow and Daybell's wedding, her death was attributed to natural causes. Daybell told police that this former wife had been coughing before she went to bed in her Idaho home and died in her sleep. However, Tammy had shown no signs of sickness when she visited her parents in Utah two weeks prior, according to East Idaho News

Tammy Daybell Fb

Last week, for the first time, Fremont County Prosecuting Attorney Lindsey Blake revealed that Tammy's cause of death was ruled as asphyxiation after her exhumation in December of 2019. 

Pastenes met Vallow, who introduced her to Cox, through Melanie Gibb, who testified at Vallow's trial on Thursday

On Dec. 11, 2019, Daybell and Vallow called Cox to tell him that Tammy's body was being exhumed, according to Pastenes, who came home from work at 7:30 p.m. that night to find her husband on the phone.

"I was very confused about the reason why they would be exhuming Tammy's body, and I was asking why would they be exhuming her body if she died of natural causes," Pastenes testified, according to People. "And I asked [Cox] if he was involved in anything to do with Tammy's death. He said no."

Cox was "quiet and unresponsive" when Pastenes, to whom he had been married for less than two weeks, continued to press the issue, she said. 

Joshua Vallow and Tylee Ryan

"He said, 'I think I am being their fall guy.' I said, 'Fall guy for what? What have you done that you would be the fall guy?' I kept pressuring him because he wasn't answering me," she said.

The next day, 51-year-old Cox died in his home. In May of the next year, according to East Idaho News, the Maricopa County Medical Examiner announced that his death was not considered suspicious and was caused by bilateral pulmonary thromboemboli with hypertensive cardiovascular disease. 

Vallow's sister-in-law also detailed Cox's reaction after he shot Charles, according to The Daily Mail.

"I asked him if he was okay after he had just shot someone," she told the court. "I thought he would be like in shock or struggling with what had happened."

Chad Daybell 2

Cox showed no remorse, according to Pastenes. Instead, she said, he told her, "Zulema, he was a zombie."

Her husband "believed everything" that Vallow and Daybell told him, Pastenes said, including the assertion that Charles and Vallow's children were "possessed" by demons 

Vallow claimed a "possessed" person could be dealt with, according to Pastenes. In pages of Pastenes' journal shown to the court, she wrote the word "dispel," "burn," "cast out" and "get rid of them" along a hand-drawn diagram purporting to illustrate how the spirit of a possessed person would remain in "limbo."

But now, Pastenes said Friday, she believes that Vallow and Daybell "made it all up." When she asked about the legitimacy of Vallow's "castings" to rid evil spirits from those close to her, Pastenes said "not anymore," according to the Mail. 

"There are two children that died, a mother of five who died," Pastenes said. "I would consider that evil now."