Chad Daybell’s children take the stand, testify of Tammy Daybell’s health problems

May 20, 2024, 2:08 PM | Updated: May 30, 2024, 12:39 am

BOISE, Idaho — Chad Daybell’s children took the stand for the defense on Monday morning, testifying that Tammy Daybell had some health problems prior to her death.

Chad Daybell is charged with the first-degree murder of his first wife of 29 years, Tammy Douglas Daybell, and, JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan, children of Lori Vallow Daybell.

Chad Daybell is married to Lori Vallow Daybell, who was convicted of six felonies last summer involving the deaths of her two children and conspiring to murder Chad Daybell’s late wife, Tammy Daybell.

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Emma Murray, Chad Daybell’s daughter, said her mother’s health had been declining in the last year of her life. She said Tammy was anemic and bruised easily and that even simple acts such as “carrying grocery bags” would leave a bruise.

At moments during Murray’s testimony, Chad Daybell nodded.

Previously in the trial, prosecutors provided the court data from Tammy Daybell’s Fitbit, which showed her activity was above average until her death. Murray testified that her mom would shake her arm to get more steps on her Fitbit while sitting or laying down to win challenges.

Murray also said she had been the one that made the Google search about the wind the day before Tylee’s death. Prosecutors shared data from Google that on Sept. 8, 2019,  a user on Chad Daybell’s Google Account searched what the wind would be on the following day.

Murray said she was “trying to be an amateur meteorologist … it was common just to jump on the computer, there wasn’t any login or anything,” she said.

Evidence shows Tammy Daybell read email from Charles Vallow before his death

When asked about her father’s religious beliefs, Murray said they were “very traditional” and “fundamental.” Murray said Tammy Daybell ascribed “death percentages” to people as well. Murray said it was she, and not Chad Daybell, who refused the autopsy on Tammy Daybell.

“I don’t think autopsies should be done on anyone,” Murray said.

Murray described the scene the morning of her mother’s death and said Chad Daybell “was more distressed than I’ve ever seen him in my entire life.”

When asked about her father’s knowledge of where the missing children were Murray responded, “I was told the children were in a safe place.”

Fremont County Prosecutor Lindsey Blake cross-examined Murray stating that there was no mention of anemia in Tammy’s medical records and reemphasized the evidence of her good health prior to her death. Murray said she did not ever reach out to law enforcement to express concerns about Tammy Daybell’s health.

Murray told Blake that Chad Daybell would talk to her about his views, including the death percentages. “It was not death so much as how your spirit was connected to your body.” Murray said she learned in the news that Chad Daybell had an affair.

Murray testified that Lori Vallow withheld the location of the children from Chad Daybell and others.

The defense called Garth Daybell, Chad Daybell’s oldest son, to the stand. Garth Daybell was living with Chad and Tammy at the time of her death.

“I was concerned she was getting tired extremely easily,” Garth Daybell said.

Garth Daybell testified that on Oct. 18, 2019, the night before Tammy Daybell’s death, she had asked Garth Daybell to drive into Rexburg for McDonald’s as she didn’t feel good enough to cook.

“As far as I knew, it was a normal night,” he said.

Early the next morning, Garth Daybell said his dad woke him up.

“I heard my dad saying, ‘Garth, Garth get up. I need help.'”

Garth Daybell said he helped his father put Tammy Daybell back on the bed.

“I felt she was cold and stiff; I realized she’s not been breathing,” Garth Daybell said.

He testified that he would have definitely heard a struggle or fight in the next room. He said on the night of Tammy Daybell’s death, he returned home and saw his parents in bed.

“They were both in bed; I saw their forms, their shapes in the bed as I passed by the room,” he said.

Garth Daybell described what he saw the following morning, “I saw her halfway off the bed with her legs still entangled in the blankets.”

Garth Daybell said he first heard that his mom’s body would be exhumed from his sister, Emma Murray.

“It was a complete surprise,” Garth Daybell said.

He said he did not report any information about Tammy Daybell’s health to law enforcement.

The trial resumes Tuesday morning.

Daniel Woodruff contributed to this report.

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Chad Daybell’s children take the stand, testify of Tammy Daybell’s health problems