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Jurors are weighing the death penalty after finding Chad Daybell guilty of three murders

BOISE, Idaho – Following a guilty verdict in Chad Daybell’s murder case, an Idaho jury began deliberating on whether he will receive the death penalty for the murders of his first wife and two children from his second wife.

Daybell was found guilty of first-degree murder and conspiracy charges in the deaths of his first wife, Tammy Daybell, and two of his second wife’s children, 16-year-old Tylee Ryan and 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow . Prosecutors argued that the crimes were driven by power, sex, money and apocalyptic spiritual beliefs. The sentencing phase of the trial began immediately after the guilty verdict, with Judge Steven Boyce giving the first instructions to the jurors. Deliberations on Daybell’s sentence began Friday afternoon after hearing impact statements from victims and contrasting character descriptions from attorneys.

During his opening statement to the jury, prosecutor Rob Wood urged them to consider aggravating factors that could justify the death penalty for Daybell. Wood emphasized that the murders were committed for financial gain, citing Daybell’s conviction for insurance fraud involving life insurance policies he benefited from after the death of his first wife.

In addition, both Daybell and his second wife were convicted of theft for continuing to receive Social Security benefits for her children after their deaths.

Wood also emphasized that the murders were particularly brutal and showed exceptional depravity and cruelty. He stated: “This defendant showed a total lack of respect for human life. His actions indicate a propensity for murder and pose an ongoing threat to society.”

Wood concluded by saying: “It is up to you to determine whether these aggravating factors have been proven. If so, you must decide whether the death penalty is justified under the circumstances.”