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Chad Daybell trial live: Daughter says he taught her about death percentages and castings – but not zombies

Chad Daybell’s trial began on 1 April, about a year after Lori Vallow was convicted in the 2019 murders of Tylee Ryan, JJ Vallow, and Tammy Daybell

Andrea Cavallier
Tuesday 21 May 2024 01:00
Chad Daybell’s daughter testifies in his murder trial

Chad Daybell’s daughter Emma Murray told an Idaho jury on Monday that her father taught her about death percentages and castings – but not zombies.

Ms Murray testified that the self-proclaimed prophet who wrote “doomsday” books, would talk to her about his bizarre religious views, including how he regularly ascribed “death percentages” to people.

Daybell’s daughter, as well as his son Garth, were the first two people to testify in their father’s defense after six weeks of testimony from the prosecution.

Daybell, 55, is on trial for the 2019 deaths of his former wife Tammy, and his current wife Lori Vallow’s children, Tylee Ryan, 16, and JJ Vallow, seven, who were found buried in his backyard in June 2020, nine months after they vanished.

Prosecutors say Daybell and Vallow, whom he married two weeks after Tammy died, justified the three killings by creating an apocalyptic belief system, which was part of an elaborate scheme to eliminate any obstacles from their life.

But Daybell’s attorney claims he was manipulated by Vallow.

Vallow, who was convicted of the murders last year, referred to her two youngest kids as zombies, one friend testified during her trial. She received three life sentences.

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


RECAP: Was Chad Daybell almost acquitted of murder because of a typo?

A typo in Chad Daybell’s triple murder indictment doesn’t mean that he should be acquitted of one of the deaths, Judge Steven Boyce said Thursday.

Shortly after prosecutors closed their case, the judge alerted the attorneys to a major error: The date of 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow’s death was wrong in the indictment.

That sparked a flurry of arguments over whether the problem could be fixed or if Daybell should simply be acquitted of that charge.

“We’re all kind of falling on our sword here,” special assistant attorney general Ingrid Batey told the judge Thursday, describing the issue as “clearly a clerical error.”

Boyce ultimately agreed with prosecutors, describing it as an “inadvertent mistake” and saying jurors could be given special instructions allowing them to still consider the full case.

Andrea Cavallier21 May 2024 01:00

WATCH: Chad Daybell’s daughter testifies in his murder trial

Chad Daybell's daughter testifies in his murder trial
Andrea Cavallier20 May 2024 23:00

Court dismisses for the day

Court is over for the day.

Testimony will continue tomorrow at 10:30am ET/ 8:30am MT.

Andrea Cavallier20 May 2024 22:35

Garth Daybell testifies about finding mother’s body

Chad Daybell’s son Garth testified about the day his mother Tammy Daybell died.

Tammy told him: “I don’t feel good today. I don’t want to cook. Can you go get some McDonald’s for us?”

So Garth drove to Rexburg, Idaho and picked up food for himself, mom and dad. It was Tammy’s last meal.

He left for a night job and when he returned around 1am, he went to bed and stayed up until 3am watching YouTube.

“As I passed their bedroom, I heard my father snoring,” he said.

He said he didn’t see any sign of a struggle or fight - as far as he knew, it was a normal night.

Garth was awakened a few hours later by his dad saying, “Garth, Garth get up. I need help.”

When Garth got to the bedroom, he saw his mother had rolled out of bed and her feet were tangled in the sheets. He got her back into bed and said she felt stiff.

“I felt she was cold and stiff and gray. I realized she had been not breathing.”

He said if there had been a struggle or fight, he would have heard it. He says he heard nothing.

Andrea Cavallier20 May 2024 20:27

Court on lunch break

Court will be in recess for lunch until 3pm ET/ 1pm MT

Andrea Cavallier20 May 2024 18:55

Garth Daybell admits he’s nervous after switching details in testimony

Garth’s testimony begins with Prior asking about who drove the Dodge Dakota prior to 2017. Garth said it was his father and said after 2017, his mother Tammy was the driver. But Garth then stopped himself and said he had it backwards.

Garth started over with Prior’s encouragement and said that at the time of his mother’s death, his dad was driving the Dodge Dakota.

When Prior asks Garth if he’s nervous, he says he is and considers himself pretty shy.

Andrea Cavallier20 May 2024 18:51

Chad Daybell’s son Garth takes the stand

The next witness for the defense is Chad Daybell’s son Garth Daybell.

Like with Emma, attorney Prior tells Garth to let him know if he needs to take a break.

Andrea Cavallier20 May 2024 18:44

‘He doesn’t like dogs’

The defense asked Emma about the pets and others animals buried in the pet cemetery – something her mother Tammy took care of. He pointed out that it would be unusual for Daybell to be tending to it.

Prior also asks Emma if her father owned a dog, a question that sparked conversation on social media, with many commenting Daybell’s dislike for dogs is a “red flag”

“My father did not own a dog,” she said. “He doesn’t like dogs.”

Andrea Cavallier20 May 2024 18:23

Chad Daybell’s daughter says he taught her about death percentages and castings – but not zombies

Emma Murray says her dad taught her about death percentages and castings – but not zombies.

“Are you still alive?” Attorney Blake asks.

Emma responds, “Yes.”

Ms Blake asks if when her dad taught her about castings, he told her anything about the body having to be destroyed or had to die. Emma says no.

She said her dad never talked to her about Alex Cox and also never talks to her about Lori Vallow before Tammy died.

Andrea Cavallier20 May 2024 18:14

EARLIER: Crowds line up outside courthouse to hear defense in Chad Daybell’s trial

Andrea Cavallier20 May 2024 18:02

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