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'Obstacle removal': Graphic and emotional victim impact statement on behalf of Tammy Daybell

"She knew the consequences of what you call dark." Tammy's aunt makes plea for Lori Vallow's judge to issue a fitting sentencing in the high-profile murder trial.

ST ANTHONY, Idaho — Lori Vallow Daybell appeared in a crowded Fremont County courtroom as she, family and friends heard victim impact statements from pre-approved people that the judge deemed closest to - and most victimized by - the high-profile murder case.

Lori Vallow, 50, was found guilty on six charges relating to the deaths of her 16-year-old daughter Tylee Ryan, her 7-year-old son JJ Vallow and Tammy Daybell, the then-wife of Vallow's now-husband, Chad Daybell.

On Monday, Tammy Daybell's aunt, Vicki Hoban, was the second person to deliver a statement at Lori Vallow's sentencing hearing. Vallow seemed to be shaking her head as Hoban began to speak on behalf of her late niece.

"I'll say it this way: This was a woman who had killed her own children and was on trial for doing that. And for killing Tammy and we felt that she could have had more respect for the family members in the courtroom," Hoban stated, after being halted briefly by Judge Boyce due to an objection to her initial statement introduction.

"This statement will not be about Lori; it will be about Tammy because it's her story. It's her life that was taken," Hoban continued. "She was a mom, a grandma, a daughter, a sister, a niece, cousin, friend and yes, she was a librarian. But more than a librarian, she was a teacher. She loved her job and went above and beyond for her students. Her last days filled with preparing the book fair for underserved children."

"I'm sure when she arrived home Friday, October 18, 2019, she was very tired from a long day and the hours at school. As she got into bed that night, I would imagine she was thinking the same thing as every other night. Nothing more than getting a good night's sleep once her eldest had checked in from his late-night job," Hoban said. "She had no idea what the plan was for that night. Or what had been the plan for quite some time."

Hoban elaborated on the premeditative nature of Tammy's murder, stating, "Unbeknownst to her, there had been quite a bit of discussion about how to get rid of the obstacles that Lori had. Lori had already killed two of her children. Tammy was next on her list of obstacle removal Lori wanted money, sex and more power."

"And what Lori wants, Lori gets. The plan was in place on how to get it. Instead of a good night's sleep, Tammy was brutally executed in her own bed."

"Lori sits here convicted and prep for prison. Let's be honest, the only question is: 'For how long?'"

Victim impact statements are delivered at sentencing. They are heard after a criminal conviction and judgement (in Vallow's case - a guilty verdict reached on May 12, 2023) and before the judge imposes a sentence upon the criminal. The sentencing judge is permitted to take into consideration what is heard in these statements.

Hoban said through sobs, "It is most likely something that you would probably never understand. To be selfish and just to live life in this simple way. Enjoying life for what it is. To love, to be loved. To smile and just be smiled back. While you had a shameful relationship with Tammy's husband and planned out of murder, Tammy lived her life. She supported her family and every way and for you to turn her home where she lived and slept into a cemetery."

In an impactful closing statement, Hoban said to Lori Vallow: "You are now going to pay the price. It'll never be sufficient in this life. I hope that the life you live is filled with fear. And that every day you are terrified. Just the way that beautiful Tylee lived in fear. For her and sweet JJ, as you continue terrifying her by saying they were zombies. And she knew the consequences of being what you call 'dark.'"

Hoban then thanked everyone who participated in the case and the trial. "(We) want to thank those who had to see those things that can't be unseen. We understand you're in pain also," she said. "Thank you Judge. I trust that you will choose the correct penalty for this."

Not much was known of Hoban prior to her delivering her impact statement Monday - as she kept a low profile during the trial. However, Hoban stepped forward to speak on behalf of Tammy after her former representative, her mother Phyllis Douglas, died on June 8.

Hoban, Tammy Daybell’s aunt and the sister of her late mother, petitioned the court to represent the family as a victim. The court granted Hoban’s request on July 19, designating her a "victim's representative." Lori Vallow’s attorneys argued in a motion that an aunt is not listed as a victim under Idaho law, and that the court should not receive a statement from Hoban.

Despite the pushback, prosecutor Lindsey Blake left the decision up to the court's discretion and clarified that there was nothing in Idaho law upon which to base an objection. Judge Boyce said he had not found any case law or language in Idaho statutes that was limiting, or "mutually exclusive," regarding someone giving a statement as a victim's representative in cases where others also were representing a deceased person. Boyce ultimately ruled that Hoban was permitted to speak on behalf of her niece, Tammy Daybell.

Vallow's only surviving son, Colby Ryan, along with Kay Woodcock, the grandmother of JJ Vallow; Summer Shiflet, sister of Lori Vallow and aunt of JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan; and Vicki Hoban, Tammy Daybell's aunt, were approved by Fremont County Judge Steven Boyce to deliver victim impact statements and address the court prior to Lori Vallow Daybell’s sentencing. Although approved, Ryan was absent from the hearing and opted to have his statement read by a representative. Vallow's younger sister, Summer Shiflet, did not attend the hearing. A last-minute impact statement was heard from Samantha Gwilliam, sister of Tammy Daybell.

Lori Vallow Daybell was also offered an opportunity to make a statement - of which she accepted. You can read Lori Vallow's full final statement prior to her sentencing here on KTVB.com.

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