Jury recommends death penalty for Chad Daybell in triple murder trial

A jury in Boise has decided that Chad Daybell deserves the death penalty for the murders of his ex-wife and his new wife’s two children.

After nearly six hours of deliberation on Friday and two hours on Saturday, the same twelve jurors who found Chad Daybell guilty of all crimes against him on Thursday concluded that his crimes were particularly heinous and warranted the death penalty.

He was found guilty Thursday of first-degree murder in the deaths of 7-year-old JJ Vallow, 16-year-old Tylee Ryan and his ex-wife, 49-year-old Tammy Daybell.

Chad Daybell received the news the same way he received his conviction: without emotion.

Kay Woodcock, Tylee and JJ’s grandmother, burst into tears as the verdict was read, while their grandfather Larry Woodcock hugged her.

The jury unanimously found that the murders were “particularly heinous, atrocious or cruel and showed exceptional depravity,” increasing the sentence to the death penalty, and that “any mitigating circumstances are not sufficiently compelling to justify the imposition of the death penalty . unjust. .”

Judge Steven Boyce explained in layman’s terms to those present: “The jury has reached the conclusion that it would be appropriate to impose the death penalty.”

Tammy Daybell’s cousin Patricia later released a statement to East Idaho News, saying, “We can all begin to heal from the terrible losses we have suffered. We will miss Tammy every day of our lives, but we take some comfort in knowing that we will see her again.

Idaho Attorney General Raúl Labrador also issued a statement saying, “I am grateful for the incredibly dedicated work of prosecutors and investigators in this complex case, and I am grateful for the partnerships we have built to advance the pursuit of justice to support. I hope that Chad Daybell’s conviction and the jury’s verdict will provide some measure of peace to the families of the victims, Tylee Ryan, JJ Vallow and Tammy Daybell.

Idaho’s first execution since 2011 took place in February, but corrections department medical staff were unable to find 73-year-old Thomas Creech’s vein for a lethal injection, Idaho Gov. Brad Little said. Little signed a bill in 2023 that allowed a firing squad as an execution method after a nationwide shortage of drugs used in lethal injections.

There are currently eight inmates on death row in Idaho, according to the Department of Corrections. Creech was sentenced to death in January 1983. Daybell becomes number 9.

On Friday, jurors heard impact statements from family members of each of the victims, including JJ’s grandmother, Tylee’s older brother and aunt, Tammy Daybell’s father and several of Tammy Daybell’s siblings.

The statements brought some jurors to tears after weeks of hearing about the three deaths from witnesses.

Colby Ryan, Tylee’s older brother, said he lost his entire family and now has no mother, father, sister or brother. He said the impact of losing his siblings is “like dropping an atomic bomb.”

“I lost the ability to watch Tylee and JJ grow up. I lost my relationship with my little brother, which took years to build. … I lost the ability to sit with my little sister and talk and share our lives. In short, I have lost everything I ever knew,” he said.

Matthew Douglas, Tammy Daybell’s brother, said she was “the emotional heart and glue” of his siblings, and these events destroyed their family as they knew it.

He called it a “never-ending nightmare” and said that every time he felt some control over the grief over his sister’s death, something new happened: Chad Daybell had remarried, Tammy Daybell’s body was exhumed, or children were born. missing.

He said he felt like he was being thrown into a “cheap holiday snow globe” where everything was loose.

Douglas also said it hurt that some of Chad and Tammy Daybell’s children cut ties with the Douglas family and chose to defend their father.

Chad Daybell chose not to present mitigating evidence during the penalty phase of his trial and confirmed that he understood his attorney, John Prior, had prepared for it. He also chose not to make a mission statement. A declaration of sentence occurs when a suspect is given the opportunity to speak before his sentence is decided.

It is not known whether he made that decision against the advice of Prior, who was still arguing on behalf of his client.

Prior argued that Lori Daybell changed who Chad Daybell was, calling her a “bombshell” who brought chaos into his life. He said that after meeting her, the “crazy thoughts” and “reinforcement of these religious beliefs” began in Chad Daybell.

Prior said most of the allegations in the indictment relate to her, and that the allegations regarding Chad Daybell’s actions all involve religious beliefs. Prior said Chad Daybell was not present when the children were killed, but others were.

Fremont County Prosecutor Lindsay Blake said each of the deaths occurred shortly after a source of money from them was set up, Social Security benefits for the children and life insurance for Tammy Daybell.

She said Chad Daybell manipulated people around them with the goal of living on a tropical island with Lori Daybell. He taught others that he could mark people for death and determine when they would die.

“It didn’t matter how old the victim was, or who trusted and loved him. “If they stood in the way of Chad and his plan… or if there was money to be made for Lori and Chad, those individuals were put to death,” she said.