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What we can expect from opening statements in the Lori Vallow Daybell Trial

Opening statements are scheduled to begin on Monday.

BOISE, Idaho — Opening statements in the Lori Vallow Daybell Trial is scheduled to start on Monday. 

She’s the Rexburg mom, charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder and grand theft in the deaths of her two kids, JJ and Tylee and her husband’s late wife, Tammy Daybell.

For the first time, the public will get a glimpse at what’s to come in this trial, come Monday. Ryan Black is a Criminal Defense Attorney for the Attorneys of Idaho law firm. He told KTVB, opening statements are an opportunity for both sides to give the jury a roadmap.

“So, the prosecution will get up and they will explain here are my main characters, here's what I expect, you will hear from each one of these people and it's important the judge will also explain this to an opening is not argument,” Black said. “It's simply a kind of appetizer and so as each side gives their opening, they're just going to explain this is what we expect to present and so you won't hear any argument from either side saying you know, and this we'll show you that you'll just hear Mr. so and so will tell you miss, so and so will explain.”

The prosecution will go first. Then, the defense has a chance, but they aren’t required to give an opening statement. The defense can reserve their opening and wait until the prosecution has presented all of its evidence, and then open their case.

“Usually, that doesn't happen just because primacy and recency, the defense is going to want to get their story in the minds of the jury so that they can see kind of where the defense is coming from the beginning of the case,” Black said.

Once the prosecution begins presenting its case, he adds, it’s important for jurors to take what the judge is going to say and not make any decisions until all the evidence is presented. 

“I do this for a living as a criminal defense attorney and so I have a hard time with true crime a lot of the times just because we want to know everything,” Black said. “We want to know what's happening, we want to know right now and so, to make those conclusions and make the speculations early on in a case like this, when it's saying it's going to take eight weeks. I mean, it's they have an incredible amount of information to present that we probably aren't privy to at all yet.”

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