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Idaho Mother Convicted Of Conspiring To Kill Children, Rival

Idaho mother Lori Vallow Daybell was convicted in the murders of her two youngest children and a romantic rival, culminating a three-year investigation that included bizarre claims that her son and daughter were zombies and she was a goddess sent to usher in the Biblical apocalypse. For the victims’ family members, the verdict is only a temporary balm: Vallow Daybell must be sentenced, and her fifth husband, Chad Daybell, is awaiting trial on the same murder charges. Vallow Daybell is facing a trial in Arizona, on a charge of conspiring to kill her fourth husband, Charles Vallow, reports the Associated Press. At Vallow Daybell's sentencing in three months, Larry Woodcock, the grandfather of the youngest victim. said, “I will say, ‘Why, Lori? Why?’” Prosecutors described Vallow Daybell as a power-hungry manipulator who would kill her two youngest children for money. The defense team said she was a normally protective mother who fell under the romantic sway of a wannabe cult leader.


Jurors convicted Vallow Daybell of conspiring to commit the murders of 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow, 16-year-old Tylee Ryan, and Tammy Daybell. She was also convicted of grand theft, a charge that indicates a more direct role in the crimes. Woodcock thanked the jurors, noting that the graphic evidence they had to view was “mindboggling,” and something that could never be unseen. The Tammy Douglas Daybell Foundation, created by her family members a year after her death, wrote that the verdict would bring “some measure of closure” for everyone. Tammy Daybell was a school librarian, and the foundation works to raise money for libraries and literacy programs in Idaho and Utah. Vallow Daybell wanted the victims’ money, so she used sex and power to manipulate her brother and her lover into carrying out the crimes, Madison County Prosecutor Rob Wood told jurors. Defense attorney Jim Archibald said there was no evidence tying his client to the killings, but plenty showing she was a loving, protective mother whose life took a sharp turn when she met her fifth husband, Chad Daybell, and fell for the “weird” apocalyptic religious claims of a cult leader.

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A daily report co-sponsored by Arizona State University, Criminal Justice Journalists, and the National Criminal Justice Association

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