3 motions filed to prevent Chad Daybell from facing death penalty during trial

Nov 9, 2023, 7:20 PM | Updated: Nov 10, 2023, 9:52 am

Chad Daybell and his attorney, John Prior, appear in a hearing on Oct. 29, 2020...

Chad Daybell and his attorney, John Prior, appear in a hearing on Oct. 29, 2020. (KSL TV)


MERIDIAN, Idaho — The legal team for Chad Daybell have filed three motions to remove the death penalty as a possibility in his murder trial next year.

Click here for complete coverage of the Lori Vallow Daybell trial

Daybell is accused of killing his late wife Tammy Daybell and the children of his current wife Lori Vallow Daybell, who was already found guilty of the murders but wasn’t eligible to be sentenced to die for her crimes and instead was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Lori Vallow Daybell sentenced to life in prison without parole


All three documents, from Chad Daybell’s attorney John Prior, were filed Thursday to Judge Steven Boyce, who also oversaw the Vallow Daybell trial.

The first motion filed to strike the death penalty said its use would be arbitrary, capricious and disproportionate because the death penalty was taken off the table for his current wife. The claim notes that Idaho charged the couple as co-defendants in the deaths of Tammy Daybell, Tylee Ryan and J.J. Vallow and claims it’s unfair to try to execute one but not both.

Lori Vallow Daybell will not face death penalty in murder trial

The motion claims the prosecution continues to seek the death penalty against Chad Daybell because he waived his right to a speedy trial while Lori Vallow Daybell did not. The couple has different counsel. The motion states:

Willingness to waive speedy trial rights cannot constitutionally be the deciding factor in who lives and who dies.

The second motion claims prosecutors argued in Vallow Daybell’s trail that she was the driving force behind the conspiracy that lead to the deaths of her children and Chad Daybell’s late wife and it would be cruel and unusual to try to execute Chad Daybell but not her. It states:

… it would violate principles of fundamental fairness, due process, and the prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment to allow the State (Idaho) to present a different core theory in prosecuting Mr. Daybell. Mr. Daybell requests that the State be limited to presenting the same theory of its case in any trial against him.

The final motion says the state claims Lori Vallow Daybell “manipulated Chad through emotional and sexual control” and should strike the death penalty on relative culpability.

It claims:

… the State’s own presentation of evidence and arguments in the trial of Lori Vallow, Mr. Daybell has lesser culpability than his co-defendant, who did not face the death penalty. Even when two co-defendants are equally culpable, it is unconstitutional and unacceptable to subject one of them to the most extreme punishment available, while the other did not face that possibility.

The motions are available below. For complete coverage of the Lori Vallow Daybell trial visit

Chad Daybell was born and raised in Springville, Utah, and graduated from Brigham Young University. He became a writer and speaker and met Lori Vallow Daybell at a conference in St. George, Utah.

Initially, the trial of the two accused was meant to proceed together, using the same witnesses and evidence. However, an Idaho judge has since separated the cases.

While at BYU Chad Daybell married Tammy Daybell in 1990 and the couple lived in Utah for most of their marriage. They founded a book company in 2004 and moved to Salem, Idaho, in 2015.

After Tammy Daybell’s 2019 death in Idaho, she was laid to rest in Springville, only three days later, where she moved when she was 13. She was married for 28 years before her death.

Chad Daybell married Lori Vallow in Hawaii less than three weeks after Tammy’s death. Seven months later, on June 9, 2020, the remains of JJ and Tylee were found buried in his backyard and he was arrested.

Chad Daybell faces charges of:

  • First-degree murder for the death of Tammy Daybell.
  • First-degree murder for the death of Tylee Ryan.
  • First-degree murder for the death of J.J. Vallow.
  • Conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and grand theft by deception for the death of Tylee Ryan.
  • Conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and grand theft by deception for the death of J.J. Vallow.
  • Conspiracy to commit first-degree murder for the death of Tammy Daybell.
  • Insurance fraud for a life insurance policy he held on Tammy Daybell. He received payment after her death.
  • Another count of insurance fraud

Daybell Motion to Strike Death Penalty as Arbitrary Capricious Disproportionate by LarryDCurtis on Scribd

Chad Daybell 2 Motion to Strike the Death Penalty Based Upon Relative Culpability by LarryDCurtis on Scribd

Chad Daybell Motion to Limit State to Consistent Arguments by LarryDCurtis on Scribd

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3 motions filed to prevent Chad Daybell from facing death penalty during trial