LORI VALLOW & CHAD DAYBELL

Prosecutors Debate Whether To Seek Death Penalty Against Daybell, Vallow

May 26, 2021, 10:40 PM | Updated: 11:35 pm

REXBURG, Idaho — Prosecutors have started to debate whether they will pursue the death penalty against Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow.

Both parties confirmed Wednesday they want to carry on with their current laywers, but if the death penalty is officially brought to the table, that could change. 

During his initial appearance, Chad Daybell confirmed he wants to carry on with John Prior as his attorney.

Lori Vallow followed suit, keeping with her attorney Mark Means. 

Criminal Defense Attorney Greg Skordas, a former Salt Lake County prosecutor, said that could change if prosecutors decide to pursue the death penalty. In that case, Daybell and Vallow would need what Skordas calls a “Death Qualified” attorney. 

“When you get to something like a death penalty case, most of our courts, most of our states require that the attorney involved have a certain amount of training or experience that qualifies them to handle capital cases,” said Skordas. 

Skordas, who has handled several capital cases, said it’s not a requirement if Daybell and Vallow hire private counsel. But when the state foots the bill, they have higher standards to avoid the risk of an appeal. 

“The accused can go back and say, ‘Look, this is a death penalty case. My attorney wasn’t death qualified,’” said Skordas. 

As to whether or not prosecutors will actually go through and push for the death penalty, or just life in prison for the murder of JJ Vallow, Tylee Ryan, and Tammy Daybell, Skordas said that remains to be seen. 

“If there is a pattern that fits the death penalty, it certainly is a case like this, where you have multiple homicides, very sympathetic victims, children and such callousness, allegedly on the part of the perpetrators,” he said. 

It seems there is only one death penalty-qualified attorney in the area of Fremont County, so Daybell and Vallow would need to bring someone in from elsewhere.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Lori Vallow & Chad Daybell

Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow (KSL TV)...
Larry D. Curtis, KSL TV

Lori and Chad Daybell will be tried together for murders, in January

Lori Vallow Daybell's trial for murder will be moved from October to Jan 9, 2023, when she will be tried together with her husband Chad Daybell.
2 months ago
Lori Vallow Daybell (Madison County)...
Eliza Pace, KSL TV

Death penalty sought against Lori Daybell

The state of Idaho filed a notice to seek the death penalty against Lori Vallow Daybell Monday. 
3 months ago
Lori Vallow Daybell (Madison County)...
Josh Ellis

Lori Vallow Daybell pleads not guilty to first-degree murder charges

Lori Vallow Daybell pleaded not guilty to all charges she is facing in connection to the deaths of JJ Vallow, Tylee Ryan and Tammy Daybell.
4 months ago
Lori Vallow appears in an Idaho courtroom on March 6, 2019....
Josh Ellis

Lori Vallow Daybell found competent to stand trial

Lori Vallow Daybell has been found competent to stand trial, and she will be arraigned next week.
4 months ago
FILE: Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell...
Eliza Pace, KSL TV

Judge denies request to separate Chad and Lori Daybell cases

Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow Daybell will be on trial for murder together after a judge denied a request to separate the cases. 
5 months ago
Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow (KSL TV)...
Cary J. Schwanitz, KSL TV

Lori Vallow attorney removed from her murder case 

The judge overseeing Lori Vallow's death penalty case has kicked her privately hired attorney off her case.
7 months ago

Sponsored Articles

tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Photo: Storyblocks...
Blue Stakes of Utah 811

Blue Stakes of Utah 811: 5 Reasons To Call 811 Before You Dig When Working in Your Yard

Call before you dig. Even at home, you could end up with serious injuries or broken utilities just because you didn't call Blue Stakes of Utah 811.
Days of...
Days of '47 Rodeo

TRIVIA: How well do you know your rodeo? Take this quiz before you go to the Days of ’47!

The Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo presented by Zions Bank is a one-of-a-kind Gold Medal Rodeo being held July 20-23, 25 at 7:30 PM. The Days of ’47 Rodeo How well do you know your rodeo trivia? Take the quiz to test your know-all before heading out to the Days of ’47 Rodeo at the […]
cyber security through multi factor authentication setup...
Les Olson IT

How multi factor authentication setup helps companies stay safe

Multi factor authentication (MFA) setup is an important security measure that every company should implement for their workers. It’s also wise to install it for your personal and home accounts.
...
Lighting Design

Check out these stunning lamps with stained glass shades

Lamps with stained glass shades are statement pieces that are more than simply aesthetic. They also meet a functional requirement: to light up a room.
Address Bar of internet browser shows internet access...
AARP Utah

Utah voters 50+ support increased access to Internet

The AARP surveyed Utah voters aged 50 plus about internet access and if they support the expansion of broadband, especially in rural areas currently lacking it.
Prosecutors Debate Whether To Seek Death Penalty Against Daybell, Vallow