Chad Daybell sentenced to death in triple murder by Idaho jury

Chad Daybell was sentenced to death on Saturday in a triple murder case, nearly a year after his second wife, Lori Vallow Daybell, was convicted and sentenced to life in prison.

Daybell was convicted of first-degree murder of his first wife, Tammy Daybell, and two of his then-girlfriend Lori Vallow’s children, Joshua “JJ” Vallow and Tylee Ryan, as well as for conspiracy in the murders and of insurance fraud. 

Lori Vallow Daybell was convicted of murder in their three deaths last year and was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

The case initially drew national attention in 2019 after 7-year-old JJ was reported missing by his grandparents and investigators learned Tylee had last been seen around the same time. Police first arrested Daybell and Vallow during their honeymoon in Hawaii, just weeks after the death of Tammy Daybell.

Chad Daybell, Lori Vallow's husband, walks into court for his wife's hearing on child abandonment and other charges in Lihue, Hawaii, on February 21, 2020.
Chad Daybell, Lori Vallow’s husband, walks into court for his wife’s hearing on child abandonment and other charges in Lihue, Hawaii, on February 21, 2020.

Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island via AP

The children’s bodies were discovered buried on Daybell’s property months later.

The case shone a spotlight on the couple’s fringe religious beliefs, which included that evil spirits could possess a person’s body, turning them into a “zombie.”

The jury that convicted Chad Daybell also deliberated on his sentence for the capital charges. Judge Steven Boyce, who presided over both Daybell and Vallow Daybell’s Idaho trials, said Thursday he will be sentenced on the insurance fraud charges at a later date.

Victims filled the courtroom Friday as nine people, including Tammy Daybell’s brother, Tylee and JJ’s older brother, and others offered victim impact statements.

Daybell, who had not testified in his own defense, also elected not to speak during the penalty phase.

Vallow Daybell was extradited to Arizona following her conviction in Idaho, where she is awaiting trial for murder in the 2019 death of her husband, Charles Vallow, who was shot by her brother, Alex Cox. Cox also died Iater that year.

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