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Chad Daybell trial: Lori Vallow’s friend confronted with subpoena outside court in cult prophet case

Chad Daybell’s trial comes one year after Lori Vallow was convicted over the murders of Tylee Ryan, JJ Vallow and Tammy Daybell

Andrea Cavallier
Friday 19 April 2024 15:30 BST
Chad Daybell trial: Former friend testifies

Melanie Gibb, the former friend of Lori Vallow, was served with a subpoena during a break in Chad Daybell’s triple murder trial in Boise, Idaho on Thursday.

Daybell’s defence attorney John Prior told her she had to accept to the papers. Ms Gibb was called by the prosecution to testify in the case a year after she testified at Vallow’s trial about the couple’s extreme religious beliefs.

Daybell, 55, is on trial for the murders of Vallow’s children, Tylee Ryan, 16, and JJ, seven, as well as his then-wife Tammy Daybell, who died suddenly in her sleep in October 2019. Weeks later, Daybell married Vallow.

Nine months after the children were last seen, they were found on Daybell’s property in Rexburg, Idaho.

Prosecutors say his “desire for sex, power, and money” led to their murders. Mr Prior, however, said his client was manipulated by Vallow.

Last year, Vallow was convicted in the three murders and sentenced to life in prison. Jurors heard how she, Mr Daybell and her late brother Alex Cox were fuelled, in part, by their bizarre cult beliefs.

If convicted, Mr Daybell faces either the death penalty or life in prison.


Who was Tylee Ryan?

Tylee Ryan, 16, was the daughter of Lori Vallow and her third husband, Joseph Ryan.

She was described by family members as “loving, and constantly laughing,” according to KPVI.

Tylee also loved spending time with her friends and watching “The Office,” but “more than anything” she loved hanging out with little brother JJ and older brother Colby Ryan, the outlet reported.

This photo of Tylee Ryan and her brother Joshua “JJ” Vallow with their uncle Alex Cox was taken days before they were killed (Handout)

“She’s so witty … even for adults, like, she would have me laughing,” Echo Itaaehau, a family friend, told KTVK. “She could be sassy, but just super sweet and tender-hearted.”

Tylee spent most of her life in Arizona, but a week before going missing, she had moved from Arizona with her family to Rexburg, Idaho.

She was last seen on 8 September 2019, on a trip to Yellowstone National Park with JJ, her mother and Cox. A photo of the children and Cox is now widely circulated.

Andrea Cavallier11 April 2024 17:30

Spectators say Daybell was ‘shaking’ as graphic photos were shown

During a court break, several spectators told local reporters that they noticed Chad Daybell shaking while graphic photos were being shown in court.

The jurors are being shown graphic evidence from when JJ and Tylee’s remains were found buried in Daybell’s backyard.

One woman told East Idaho News’ Nate Eaton that it looked like he had never seen the images before.

Court will resume shortly.

Andrea Cavallier11 April 2024 17:35

Defence to continue cross on detective when court resumes

Court is on a lunch break, but will resume around 3.10pmET.

Just before court was dismissed for lunch, Chad Daybell’s defence attorney John Prior was cross examining Rexburg police detective Rey Hermosillo.

Mr Prior attempted to discredit the investigation while placing the blame on others, including Lori Vallow and Alex Cox.

Andrea Cavallier11 April 2024 20:00

Defence focuses on Alex Cox during cross of detective

Prior asks Detective Hermosillo about the days following Tammy Daybell’s death.

“Three days after Tammy Daybell dies, Alex Cox is still sharpening knives,” he says, and Hermosillo says this is correct.

Cox is Lori Vallow’s late brother. He died of natural causes.

Prior then makes a point of saying the knives and guns were found at the home of Alex Cox, not with Vallow or Daybell.

Andrea Cavallier11 April 2024 20:40

Court dismissed until Monday

Detective Hermosillo is dismissed for now and court has ended for the day.

The next witness is not yet available, so there will be no court on Friday.

Court will resume on Monday with day three of testimony in Chad Daybell’s trial.

Andrea Cavallier11 April 2024 21:44

Will Lori Vallow testify? Here’s what her uncle says

Lori Vallow's uncle speaks out about Chad Daybell's trial
Andrea Cavallier11 April 2024 23:00

Who will defend Chad Daybell? His children are expected to testify

He’s accused of killing their mother but Chad Daybell’s adult children will take the stand in their father’s defence at his triple murder trial.

Daybell told police his wife Tammy Daybell had died suddenly in her sleep after battling an illness, but an autopsy later revealed she died of asphyxiation and he was charged with her murder.

Defence attorney John Prior said during opening statements on Wednesday morning in Boise, Idaho the children will testify about their mother’s ongoing health issues, the home remedies she would try, and her refusal to see a doctor.

Read more:

Chad Daybell’s children will take the stand in their father’s defence

Chad Daybell faces the death penalty if convicted in the disturbing murders the prosecution say were fuelled by his desire for ‘sex, money and power’

Andrea Cavallier12 April 2024 00:00

RECAP: Graphic evidence about children’s remains first heard at Lori Vallow’s murder trial

“Cult mom” Lori Vallow was convicted of murdering her two youngest children in a case that shocked the nation with its bizarre doomsday cult ties and the tragic deaths of almost everyone close to the mother-of-three and her new husband Chad Daybell.

Shocked jurors were shown images of JJ’s body found in the shallow grave – still dressed in the red pyjamas.

Now Daybell is on trial and a different jury is hearing all the jarring evidence against the couple.

Read more:

Lori Vallow case summary: Key revelations from ‘cult mom’s’ murder trial

Lori Vallow was at the centre of a bizarre case involving cults and multiple deaths. Rachel Sharp explains the most crucial moments so far in her high-profile trial, which ended with Vallow’s conviction for the murder of her two youngest children

Andrea Cavallier12 April 2024 03:00

ICYMI: Lawyers make opening remarks in Chad Daybell trial

Chad Daybell trial: Lawyers make opening remarks
Andrea Cavallier12 April 2024 05:00

What are the charges against Chad Daybell?

  • Murder of Tammy Daybell
  • Murder of Joshua “JJ” Vallow
  • Murder of Tylee Ryan
  • Conspiracy to commit murder of Tammy Daybell
  • Conspiracy to commit murder and grand theft in the death of Joshua “JJ” Vallow
  • Conspiracy to commit murder and grand theft in the death of Tylee Ryan
Andrea Cavallier12 April 2024 09:00

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