Manage episode 372689761 series 3444923
The somber aura of the courtroom is a stark contrast to the tumultuous saga that has transpired. Lori, now 50, was convicted on May 12 for the horrific deeds in 2019. The innocent lives of her children, Joshua 'JJ' Vallow, only seven years old, and Tylee Ryan, 16, were snuffed out in their youth. Additionally, the looming charge of conspiracy to commit murder of her husband Chad Daybell's former wife, Tammy Daybell, added an ominous hue to the already grisly tale.
Stepping into this storm of tragedy, Vicki Hoban, Tammy's aunt, had sought to represent her late niece at the sentencing. Initially, Judge Steven Boyce rejected this request. However, following the demise of Tammy's mother in June, Hoban was granted special permission to deliver a victim impact statement.
Vallow's defense team submitted a motion on Friday in a move that stirred up more controversy. Their argument was predicated on Idaho law's definition of 'immediate' family members as victims, a category in which an aunt is not included. Despite their request to prevent Hoban from making her statement, the ruling swung in her favor.
The stoic courtroom witnessed a rather detached Vallow, visible on camera from the Madison County Jail. A bleak image of the convicted woman was captured as she stared ahead, her fist propped under her chin, speaking no word, simply waiting.
Further adding complexity to the already convoluted case, Vallow's attorney, Jim Archibald, contended that the submitted statements of Tammy Daybell's father and sister made Hoban's testimony redundant. As the law excludes aunts, Archibald opined the court's order would be apt if there were no representation from Tammy Daybell's family. However, given the circumstances, Archibald argued, an aunt does not possess the right to represent the family.
In a judicious move, Judge Boyce clarified his initial grant to Hoban was under the impression of Tammy's absence of representation. He highlighted that the statute does not specify that a representative can only be appointed under certain circumstances. Therefore, the impending testimony of three other family members does not exclude Hoban's right to represent her late niece.
As Vallow's eldest son, Colby Ryan, JJ's grandmother, Kay Woodcock, and the child's designated representative, Summer Shiflet, prepare their statements, the courtroom awaits with bated breath.
In a twist of law, Vallow will be granted an opportunity to address the court before her sentence is pronounced. A moment to speak without fear of objection or cross-examination, an opportunity she chose not to take during her trial.
Vallow's previous plea for retrial was dismissed last month. Her attorneys had argued that external influences swayed the jury. The accusations against her were severe - Vallow was convicted for killing her children after falling prey to the illusions of the doomsday predictor, Chad Daybell. The defense argued that the instructions to the jury were muddled and contended that some jurors knew about her alleged crimes that were not officially presented as evidence.
Vallow's attorneys pointed to an interview one juror gave with East Idaho News, revealing knowledge of information not disclosed during the trial. They also claimed changes in the original indictment that occurred without proper notice from the prosecution as grounds for a new trial. However, Judge Boyce, who had presided over Vallow's initial trial, ruled against this motion.
While Vallow stands on the precipice of her fate, her husband, Chad Daybell, awaits his reckoning. With his trial slated for April 1, 2024, Chad watches from the confines of Fremont County Jail. The parallel trials weave a tale of a tormented family facing the stark reality of their actions, each awaiting the heavy hand of justice to pronounce their destinies.
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