Opening statements begin Monday in the Lori Vallow Daybell trial

Apr 9, 2023, 10:10 PM | Updated: 10:18 pm

BOISE, Idaho — Monday will mark a significant day in the Lori Vallow Daybell trial, as opening statements are set to begin. The courtroom is expected to be packed after reservations filled up minutes after opening Friday morning.

Opening statements will kick off week two of the trial. Jury selection took up the entire first week, and the court decided not to sequester the jury.

Click here for complete coverage of the Lori Vallow Daybell trial

The prosecution will deliver their statements first.

“I think the prosecution’s opening statement is going to be a very, very good roadmap,” said KSL Legal Analyst Greg Skordas.

Skordas, who has extensive murder trial experience as both a prosecutor and defense attorney, explained how prosecutors would likely spend a few hours laying out the next several weeks to jurors.

“They’re going to lay out all their witnesses, and they’ll probably lay them out in some order, similar to how they intend to call them,” he said. “We’ll know the strength of the prosecution’s case. And we’ll know the theory of their case, how they’re trying to establish that Lori is the one who’s criminally responsible for this.”

The prosecution will explain how they intend to prove every single one of the seven counts Vallow Daybell is on trial for, beyond a reasonable doubt– from first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and grand theft of her children Tylee Ryan and Joshua JJ Vallow to conspiracy to murder her husband Chad Daybell’s late wife, Tammy Daybell, to grand theft of social security benefits of her children.

Skordas said the defense doesn’t have to give opening statements on the first day. If they do, the jury– and the public– may find out if they plan to call Vallow Daybell to testify.

“If the defense says in their opening statement that they’re going to put her on the stand, and then they choose not to– that probably looks bad for the defense,” he said. “If they say they’re going to in their opening statement… the jury will be waiting for her to testify.”

Radicalized Religion: When did Lori Vallow Daybell’s beliefs become dangerous?

Family members, who have so far not been present at the trial, are expected to sit in court for this huge day.

Kay and Larry Woodcock said they plan to attend trial every day after waiting on a ruling last week from Judge Steven Boyce on whether they can attend. Judge Boyce appointed Kay, who is JJ’s biological grandmother, as his representative because she is the sister of JJ’s late adoptive father, Charles Vallow (Vallow Daybell was indicted in his death in Arizona).

While Judge Boyce ruled that Larry Woodcock did not classify as a victim, he plans to attend the trial, and the couple said they’re looking forward to this first day.

“As soon as opening statements are done, it’s time for the state to put on his case, and they’ll call their first witness,” Skordas explained.

KSL reporters have seats in the courtroom, and KSL-TV will be posting updates on what’s unfolding Monday.

KSL 5 TV Live

Chad Daybell trial

97 exhibits of evidence were sealed after the Chad Daybell murer trial, but his booking photo was r...

Mary Culbertson

Judge in Chad Daybell case permanently seals 97 evidence exhibits after trial

The judge in Chad Daybell's murder trial ordered that 97 exhibits of evidence be permanently sealed.

4 days ago

Chad Daybell sits and closes his eyes after the jury's verdict in his murder trial was read at the ...

Larry D. Curtis

Chad Daybell to appeal to verdict and death penalty, gets public defender

While former Chad Guy Daybell lives in Idaho's prison system, his attorney filed a notice of appeal and also filed a motion to appoint a public defender after his conviction for three murders.

16 days ago

Chad Daybell leaves the courtroom at the conclusion of his sentencing hearing at the Ada County Cou...

Andrew Adams

Daybell jurors speak publicly about death penalty decision

Two days after a jury sentenced Chad Daybell to death for three murders, jurors spoke publicly for the first time about their death penalty decision.

18 days ago

Chad Daybell in a courtroom in a blue checkered shirt and solid yellow tie...

Dakin Andone, CNN

What to know about Idaho’s death penalty after Chad Daybell was sentenced to death

Chad Daybell was sentenced to death for the murders of his wife and his second wife’s two children this weekend, but when and whether he will be executed remains a wide open question.

19 days ago

Jason and Samantha Gwilliam, Tammy Daybell's brother-in-law and sister (KSL TV)...

Lauren Steinbrecher

‘It brings closure’: Victims’ families react to Chad Daybell death sentence

Family members of the three people murdered by Chad Daybell and his wife Lori Vallow Daybell said they are feeling a sense of healing and closure after the 55-year-old religious author from Utah was given the death penalty Saturday. 

21 days ago

Madison County Attorney Rob Wood and Fremont County Lindsey Blake answer questions following Saturd...

Daniel Woodruff

‘Justice was served’: Prosecutors, investigators celebrate after Chad Daybell verdict

Inside an Idaho courtroom, Chad Daybell sat quietly – showing no visible emotion – as he learned his punishment for murder. Outside the Ada County Courthouse, prosecutors and investigators who worked this complex case for years celebrated the jury’s verdict. They spoke publicly about the case for the first time in front of reporters after the sentence was handed down.

21 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for hassle-free computer repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Opening statements begin Monday in the Lori Vallow Daybell trial