Lori Vallow Daybell sentenced to life in prison without parole
Jul 31, 2023, 12:33 PM | Updated: 9:55 pm
ST. ANTHONY, Idaho — Lori Vallow Daybell was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the murders of her two youngest children, JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan, and conspiring to kill Tammy Daybell, her fifth husband, Chad Daybell’s previous wife.
In total, Vallow Daybell received five life sentences: three consecutive life in prison without parole sentences, and two concurrent.
- Life in prison for conspiracy to commit murder in the first degree of Tylee Ryan and grand theft by deception
- Life in prison for the murder in the first degree of Tylee Ryan
- Life in prison for conspiracy to commit murder in the first degree of Joshua Jaxon Vallow and grand theft by deception
- Life in prison for the murder in the first degree of Joshua Jaxon Vallow
- Life in prison for conspiracy to commit murder in the first degree of Tammy Daybell
- 10 years in prison for grand theft
Vallow Daybell addressed the court room for the first time in this trial stating, “no one was murdered in this case.”
Judge Steven Boyce addressed Vallow Daybell before sentencing her to life in prison.
“It is a loss for everyone…” Boyce said. “It is the most shocking thing that I can imagine. A mother killed her own children, and you have no remorse for it.”
Dozens of people waited outside the courthouse, some even camping overnight in anticipation of Monday’s sentencing.
The sentencing included victim impact statements, where family members of the victims were allowed to address Vallow Daybell about her crimes.
Victim representatives included:
Colby Ryan, only living child of Vallow Daybell and brother of JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan
Kay Woodcock, the grandmother of JJ Vallow
Samantha Gwilliam, Tammy Daybell’s sister
Vicki Hoban, Tammy Daybell’s aunt
The impact statements
Gwilliam began by reading a statement written by Tammy Daybell’s father.
“Drama began to unfold and the reason for the quick burial became apparent,” the statement read.”…in retrospect we see that Chad was living a double life and the bonds of his family were being eroded due to his involvement with Lori.”
Gwilliam spoke about the pain of losing her sister and the shock of Chad Daybell’s marriage to Vallow Daybell just two weeks later. She said it was then she began to wonder about Vallow Daybell and who she was. She said everything about Vallow Daybell’s life was a lie.
“The police ask us about missing children you answer, the children aren’t missing, they’re safe and happy – that’s a lie. Your children, your poor children, were dead and buried on Chad’s property,” Gwilliam said.
Gwilliam explained how Tammy’s body was exhumed and they began to receive some answers.
“What we knew in our hearts all along – she’d been murdered by those who saw her as an obstacle to a plan,” Gwilliam said.
“You use this lie to justify the murders of four people, whose deaths you profit from.
“You are a liar, an adulteress, and a murderer. Because of the choices you made, my family lost a beloved mother, sister, aunt, and daughter. She is irreplaceable,” Gwilliams said.
Hoban spoke next.
“This statement will not be about Lori, it will be about Tammy. Because it’s her story and her life that was taken. She was a mom, a grandma, a daughter, a sister, a niece, a cousin, a friend, and yes, she was a librarian. More than a librarian, she was a teacher,” Hoban said.
She said she had seen Tammy prior to her death and that she was in good health.
“Tammy was brutally executed in her own bed. She was taken from us by murdering thieves.”
Vicki thanked law enforcement, FBI, the investigators, prosecutors, court admins, and others involved in the case.
“I especially want to thank those who had to see those things that can’t be unseen,” she said. We understand your pain.”
Kay Woodcock’s statement followed.
Woodcock explained that Lori’s “cruel campaign of terror began with Charles Vallow’s death. “A campaign that resulted in the deaths of JJ and Tylee, two innocent children, and Tammy, a devoted mother, grandmother, and wife,” Kay Woodcock said.
“I now realize what a nothing Chad Daybell is. A man with no ability to support anyone, no success of his own, a user of the weakminded, a lazy, good-for-nothing, spineless man, that rode his wife’s coattails of success,” Kay Woodcock said.
“She has shown no grief for the lives she willingly took or the pain she caused. Today I take the power back by standing here speaking out loud of all the pain and loss she caused,” Woodcock said.
“During the trial a lot of information was shared about JJ’s death. Today I want to share how he lived. That’s truly the only way to understand and know who he was and the gaping hole his death has left in our hearts and in this world,” Kay Woodcock said.
She described when JJ was born as a premature baby and said his preemie diapers fit in the palm of her hand. She said he was a fighter and when he came home developed a strong bond with Larry Woodcock.
“We loved every minute of raising him. That time was priceless,” Kay Woodcock said.
“JJ loved school, his friends and cousins…There are so many lives he has touched that all feel the immense pain and loss of him being gone. Not only was JJ smart, but he was also funny, content, compassionate and empathetic.”
Kay described the time the children were missing as “pure hell.”
“The children were found in Chad Daybell’s backyard, buried like animals. Our worst fears were confirmed and we were destroyed,” Woodcock said.
Colby Ryan’s statement was read to the court by the judge.
“I’ve lost my entire family in life. I’ve watched everything crumble and be shredded to pieces. I have lost my sister, brother, father and mother. I have lost cousins and family, friends and everything in between,” Ryan’s statement read.
Lori Vallow Daybell speaks
Then, for the first time, Vallow Daybell addressed the court with her own statement.
“Jesus Christ knows that no one was murdered in this case,” Vallow Daybell. “Accidental deaths happen.”
Vallow Daybell also described an experience as she was giving birth to Tylee where she “died” and “felt her spirit falling to the floor.”
Vallow Daybell said she had several spiritual communications during this time and said she came back to her body to complete what she had “covenanted or promised” to do.
“Because of those communications, I know my friend Tammy Daybell is happy,” Vallow Daybell said.
Vallow Daybell claimed to “know for a fact” that her children are “happy and busy” in the spirit world, and so is her “friend,” Tammy Daybell.
“Tylee is free now from all the pains of her life,” Vallow Daybell said. “I am the only person in this life that knows how much pain Tylee was in.”
“My beautiful children, Tylee Ashley and Joshua Jackson rest safely this day in the arms of Jesus. Tammy Daybell rests safely this day in the arms of Jesus. I look forward to the day when I too will rest with them in the arms of my Jesus,” Vallow Daybell said.
Boyce addressed Vallow Daybell following her statement.
“While you were enjoying your life in Hawaii, countless law enforcement officers, family members, and volunteers were searching for your children. I don’t think to this day you have any remorse for the effort or heartache you caused others,” Boyce said.
“They were found dead, burned, mutilated, dismembered, and buried like animals,” Boyce said.
“You have forever altered the lives of many, many people,” Boyce said. “… Your crimes are heinous and egregious.”
Vallow Daybell and her husband Chad Daybell, were taken into custody on Feb. 20, 2020 months after her children, JJ and Tylee, were reported missing. JJ and Tylee’s remains were discovered on June 9, 2020.
Tammy Daybell, was found dead on Oct. 19, 2019 and buried in Springville, Utah. Her body was later exhumed and the death was ruled a homicide. Less than three weeks after her Oct. 19, 2019 death, her husband married Vallow Daybell on Nov. 5 2019, in Hawaii.
Vallow Daybell was found guilty for the deaths of her children and conspiracy to murder Tammy Daybell after a lengthy trial in May 2023.
Chad Daybell also faces charges related to the killings but he isn’t expected to face trial until next year, possibly in June 2024. The children’s bodies were discovered buried on his property.
Vallow Daybell was also indicted in Arizona on charges related to the shooting death of her late husband, Charles Vallow.