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Court blog: Lori Vallow Daybell sentencing

A full courtroom of police officers, attorneys, victims' families, media and interested onlookers wait as Lori Vallow's fate is decided by a judge.

ST ANTHONY, Idaho — Lori Vallow, or Lori Vallow Daybell, is set to be sentenced in Fremont County Court on Monday. She was found guilty of killing her two children, taking their security benefits and conspiring to kill her husband's former wife in May.

People can expect to hear comments from the prosecution, the defense, the victims' families, the judge and maybe Vallow herself.

Alexandra Duggan is reporting live from inside the courtroom:

Live updates

8:55 a.m.: The largest courtroom in Fremont County is entirely full. Those waiting for a spot in person camped outside on the courthouse lawn Sunday night. Vallow is expected to arrive at 9 a.m.

Among those attending is Annie Cushing, Tylee Ryan's aunt; Kay and Larry Woodcock, JJ Vallow's grandparents, Samantha Gwilliam, Tammy Daybell's sister; and Tammy Daybell's aunt, Vicki Hoban.

9:00 a.m.: Lori Vallow just entered the courtroom in a white and orange striped jail jumpsuit and shackles around her wrists and ankles. She takes a seat next to her defense attorney, John Thomas.

9:16 a.m. Judge Steven Boyce indicated that Vallow chose not to participate in the presentence investigation (PSI) process. A PSI allows an entire background analysis of the defendant including mental health and family history as well as multiple interviews of the defendant to help a judge decide on a sentence.

Because Vallow did not participate in this process, Boyce will have to review what he has from the PSI without her.

9:25 a.m.: Colby Ryan, Lori Vallow's only surviving child, will not be giving a victim impact statement in person. The prosecution will read his statement into the record.

9:30 a.m.: Samantha Gwilliam, Tammy Daybell's sister, speaks for her victim impact statement.

She calls Lori Vallow a liar.

“Your poor children were dead and buried on Chad’s property," Gwilliam said. 

"You planned the murders.. Why plan something so heinous? You are not exalted beings. Your behavior makes it impossible to be one."

“We blame you and Chad… For ripping apart this family," Gwilliam said. "No angels are coming to rescue you."

9:40 a.m.: Vicki Hoban, Tammy Daybell's aunt, begins to speak. She says the lack of emotion from Lori Vallow during her trial was unsettling.

"This statement will not be about Lori. It will be about Tammy. This is her story."

Tammy Daybell loved her job, Hoban said. Her last days were filled with preparing a book fair.

“She had no idea… What had been the plan for quite some time," she said.“ All of her families were robbed of seeing her again.”

9:55 a.m.: Kay Woodcock, JJ Vallow's grandmother, is giving her victim impact statement. JJ Vallow was just 7 years old when he was killed.

She first speaks about Lori Vallow, and how she murdered the Woodcocks' beloved grandchild.

“She took all that away because she is a money hungry power mongering monster,” Woodcock said. “She has shown no grief for the lives she took or the pain she willingly caused."

A lot of information was shared about JJ Vallow's death in trial, Woodock said -- she tells the court this is her time to show how he lived.

When JJ Vallow was born, he was premature.

“He was so tiny and so fragile… I still have one of his tiny preemie diapers that fit in the palm of my hand," Woodcock said. JJ Vallow was also autistic and high-energy.

But the Woodcocks raised him like their own son. He would ask his grandfather to pat his back, he would make gumbo with his grandmother. He was so smart, Woodcock said. He would read pill bottles and try to pronounce the names of medication. 

"How dare (Lori Vallow) take his energy… And turn it into a reason to further her murderous conspiracy," Woodcock said. "That same mother murdered that same child she expressed her deep appreciation for."

"I never got enough of him," Woodcock cried. "I only have memories to cling to."

10:20 a.m.: Colby Ryan's statement is only read into the record. He is not present.

He says in his statement his life has been completely overturned -- his children will never know their uncle and aunt or their grandfather. He has lost his siblings and his parents, Ryan said.

"Nothing will ever be the same." he wrote. "I've watched everything crumble and be shredded to pieces."

10:38 a.m.: State prosecutor Rob Wood asks for life in prison with no possibility of parole.

He also asks for a fine of $5,000 to go to Tammy Daybell's family, and for Vallow to pay back what she stole to the U.S Dept. of Treasury.

11:45 a.m.: Lori Vallow's defense attorney John Thomas tells Judge Steven Boyce during his sentence recommendation that Lori Vallow may be the most hated woman in America. But hate doesn't bring peace, Thomas said.

"We ache with the victims in this case. There's a lot of hurt," he said. Lori… if she could send a message… Would be one love," Thomas said. "Her motto is, 'love is the key.'"

Thomas said Vallow is "misunderstood." Rather, she is kind, witty, intelligent and loves a lot, he said.

12 p.m.: Lori Vallow issues a statement. She said only Jesus Christ knows what happened.

“I know for a fact that my children are happy and busy in the spirit world… Because of my communications with my friend Tammy Daybell I know she is happy and extremely busy," Vallow said.

12:30 p.m.: Judge Boyce sentences Lori Vallow to three consecutive life terms in prison for the murders of her two children and conspiracy to murder her former husband’s wife.

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