BOISE, Idaho —
Less than two weeks before her trial begins, prosecutors and the defense in the Lori Vallow Daybell case have filed proposed jury instructions.
Jury selection begins April 3. The 12 men and women who will sit on the jury during the trial will decide whether Vallow is guilty or not guilty of murder and conspiracy in the deaths of two of her children, Joshua "JJ" Vallow and Tylee Ryan, and her husband Chad Daybell's former wife, Tammy Daybell.
The case originated in Fremont County, but in part because of intense publicity, particularly in eastern Idaho, the judge ordered the trial be moved to Ada County, with a jury selected from a pool of Ada County residents. Vallow has already been transferred to the Ada County Jail to await trial.
The proposed instructions filed this week give jurors information they have to consider when deciding whether she is guilty or not. They also explain the intention of voir dire, the process of questioning prospective jurors
In its proposed instructions, the prosecution -- the state -- explains to jurors that the state has to prove multiple allegations "beyond a reasonable doubt." The verdict form outlines all of the charges she faces out of Fremont County. (Mobile users tap here to view the document.)
The defense's filing on jury instructions is in the window below, or viewable through this link.
The state alleges that Lori Vallow, Chad Daybell and Vallow's brother, Alex Cox, who is now dead, agreed to murder JJ, Tylee and Tammy. According to the state, between October 2018 and June 2020, Vallow and her husband endorsed and espoused religious beliefs to encourage or justify the killings of Tylee, JJ and Tammy.
In the theft charges against her, prosecutors claim that Vallow collected Social Security survivor benefits on behalf of Tylee without reporting her death or JJ's death.
Prosecutors also claim Vallow told law enforcement false or misleading information about JJ's location.
These new documents state that Vallow and her husband texted each other about Tammy, "being in limbo," and being possessed by a spirit named Viola.
Prosecutors also allege that Vallow and her husband increased Tammy's life insurance to the maximum amount allowed.
Additionally, on October 9, 2019, the state accuses Cox of trying to shoot Tammy.
These documents also outline aggravating circumstances around Vallow's alleged crimes. Aggravating factors can make crimes more severe or heinous, and these factors propped up prosecutors' argument for the death penalty.
However, these proposed instructions were signed on Monday, March 20. KTVB
reported yesterday, Tuesday March 21, that the judge overseeing this case took the death penalty off the table.
Judge Steven Boyce said that the prosecution disclosed some evidence too late.
On Wednesday, Boyce also temporarily sealed the list of witnesses and exhibits in the case. He said he did so to "preserve the right to a fair trial" and protect people's privacy.
Idaho Criminal Rule 30 governs instructions to the jury and communications with the jury, and it lists what the court may instruct the jury on. The rule requires any party requesting jury instructions to file written requests to the court no later than five days before a trial begins, with a possible exception for "unanticipated issues or matters constituting fundamental errors."
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