Chad Daybell sentenced to death for killing his wife and girlfriend’s two children in a jury decision

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Chad Daybell has been sentenced to death for the murders of his wife and his girlfriend’s two youngest children in Idaho.

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Chad Daybell has been sentenced to death for the murders of his wife and his girlfriend’s two youngest children in Idaho.

The verdict was handed down Saturday after an Idaho jury unanimously agreed that imposing the death penalty would be a just resolution to the triple murder case. The verdict marks the end of a grim investigation that began with a search for two missing children in 2019. The following year, their bodies were found buried in Daybell’s yard in eastern Idaho.

Both Daybell and his new wife, Lori Vallow Daybell, were charged with multiple counts of murder, conspiracy and grand theft in connection with the deaths of Vallow Daybell’s two youngest children, 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow and 16-year-old. .. old Tylee Ryan. They were also charged with conspiracy and murder for the death of Daybell’s first wife, Tammy Daybell.

During a nearly two-month trial, prosecutors said Chad Daybell promoted unusual spiritual beliefs, including apocalyptic prophecies and stories of possession by evil spirits, to justify the killings.

Daybell’s attorney John Prior argued during the trial that there was not enough evidence to link Daybell to the murders, and suggested that Vallow Daybell’s older brother, Alex Cox, was to blame. Cox died in late 2019 and was never charged, and Vallow Daybell was sentenced last year to life in prison without parole.

During the sentencing hearing, Prior asked jurors to rate Daybell on his life before he met Vallow Daybell, describing her as a bomb that blew him off the trajectory of an otherwise healthy life. But Daybell also refused to provide any mitigating evidence during the sentencing hearing. Mitigating evidence is often used to encourage jurors to sympathize with a suspect, in an attempt to show that a life sentence would be more appropriate than the death penalty.

Relatives of the victims gave emotional statements to jurors. JJ Vallow’s grandmother Kay Woodcock tearfully described how the 7-year-old showed empathy and compassion toward others through gentle touches and by regularly asking if those around him were okay. She also said that Tylee was a loving big sister, and that it warmed her heart to see them together.

“I can’t express how much I want more time to create memories,” said Woodcock, who began to cry.

Idaho law allows execution by lethal injection or firing squad, although executions by firing squad have never been used in the state.

The Associated Press