Chad Daybell’s defense prepares to make case to jurors

May 16, 2024, 5:07 PM | Updated: 6:34 pm

BOISE — Prosecutors have rested their case in the Chad Daybell murder trial.

They did so Thursday morning following weeks of testimony and dozens of witnesses.

Starting next week, defense attorney John Prior will make his case to the jury in the high-profile case.

Chad Daybell is accused of killing his longtime wife, Tammy Daybell, and two children – 16-year-old Tylee Ryan and 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow – belonging to his current wife, Lori Vallow Daybell, who has already been convicted in the same case and is serving life in prison.

“The prosecution had a difficult case,” KSL legal analyst Greg Skordas said, while noting the state made some strong arguments.

But later Thursday, part of the case looked like it was about to unravel as prosecutors found themselves answering for an incorrect piece of critical information in court documents.

Neighbors of Chad Daybell testify he told them Lori Vallow’s daughter had died

Judge Steven Boyce pointed out the date range on which JJ Vallow was said to have died was incorrect in court documents. It was listed as September 8-9 rather than September 22-23.

Chad Daybell’s defense attorney pounced.

“They’ve lost their chance. They don’t get to go back,” Prior said. “Judge, I’m asking the court to dismiss the charge.”

But Ingrid Batey, one of the prosecutors, argued “this was clearly an oversight. We’re talking about a clerical error.”

The judge eventually agreed with Batey and said he will allow a fix. Still, it was a tenuous moment for the prosecution.

“It’s a little bit embarrassing that it took until now to figure that out,” Skordas said.

Testimony will now continue Monday morning with witnesses called by the defense.

“I think that Chad’s children are going to testify,” Skordas said, “and my guess is they’re going to testify that their mother had some medical problems – that it’s unlikely that she died of a homicide – and that there’s every reason to believe that she died of natural causes.”

Judge Boyce also denied a defense motion Thursday to end the trial now and acquit Chad Daybell.

If Chad Daybell is convicted, he could face the death penalty.

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Chad Daybell’s defense prepares to make case to jurors