Judge: Tammy Daybell’s aunt may speak at Lori Vallow Daybell’s sentencing

Jul 26, 2023, 3:03 PM | Updated: 3:14 pm

Lori Vallow Daybell stands and listens as the jury's verdict is read at the Ada County Courthouse i...

Lori Vallow Daybell stands and listens as the jury's verdict is read at the Ada County Courthouse in Boise, Idaho on Friday May 12, 2023. The Idaho jury convicted Daybell of murder in the deaths of her two youngest children and a romantic rival, a verdict that marks the end of a three-year investigation that included bizarre claims of zombie children, apocalyptic prophesies and illicit affairs. (AP Photo/Kyle Green)

(AP Photo/Kyle Green)

FREMONT COUNTY, Idaho — A judge has ruled that Tammy Daybell’s aunt will be allowed to speak at the sentencing of Lori Vallow Daybell on Monday.

Vallow Daybell was convicted in May for the first-degree murders of her two youngest kids, JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan. A jury also found her guilty of three counts of conspiracy to murder the two kids as well as Tammy Daybell, Lori Daybell’s husband Chad Daybell’s first wife.

The jury also found Lori Vallow Daybell guilty of one count of grand theft.

Click here for complete coverage of the Lori Vallow Daybell trial

In a virtual hearing Wednesday, Judge Steven Boyce heard arguments from both the defense and prosecutors on whether Vicki Hoban, Tammy Daybell’s aunt, could speak at the sentencing.

The defense argued Idaho law only allows immediate family to make a victim impact statement. The law does not count an aunt as immediate family.

They also argued Tammy Daybell’s father and sister had already submitted victim impact statements in writing. The prosecution offered no rebuttal and left the decision to the court.

Boyce said an Idaho code allows people to make victim impact statements on behalf of a family member who cannot do so themselves.

Tammy Daybell’s mother passed away in June, so Hoban wished to speak on her behalf and that’s what Boyce ruled in favor of.

“When I look at the language of the statute of the case law … what I don’t find is any limiting language stating … this designation of a representative can only apply if there’s an absence of anyone else to make a statement,” Boyce said in Wednesday’s hearing.

“There’s nothing in the statute that indicates that a designated representative has to only be appointed under certain circumstances, such as the unavailability of anyone else to make a statement.”

Simply put, Hoban will speak on behalf of her mother.

Who else is speaking at Lori Vallow Daybell’s sentencing?

The court will also allow JJ Vallow’s grandmother, Kay Woodcock, and other close family members to speak at Monday’s sentencing.

Lori Vallow Daybell also has the option to speak if she wishes.

The sentencing will take place Monday at the Fremont County Courthouse in St. Anthony,  a few miles north of Rexburg. Based on the charges she’s been found guilty of, Lori Vallow Daybell could spend the rest of her life in prison.

The death penalty is not on the table in this case.

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Judge: Tammy Daybell’s aunt may speak at Lori Vallow Daybell’s sentencing