Prosecutors want to call more witnesses in Chad Daybell murder trial after defense rests

May 22, 2024, 4:08 PM | Updated: 7:18 pm

BOISE — Prosecutors in the Chad Daybell murder trial in Idaho told a judge Wednesday they want to call several more witnesses as a rebuttal after the defense attorney rests his case.

Defense attorney John Prior told Judge Steven Boyce he’s prepared to rest after three days of witness testimony. Prior was expected to do that Wednesday afternoon, but the judge instead sent the public out of the courtroom to deal with some scheduling issues before meeting with the attorneys alone – but publicly broadcast over the court’s livestream – to hash out possible rebuttal testimony.

Click here for complete coverage of the Chad Daybell trial

Prosecutor Rocky Wixom told Boyce the state’s rebuttal would take an extra day or two. The trial is currently in its eighth week.

Chad Daybell is on trial accused of killing 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow, 16-year-old Tylee Ryan, and his longtime wife, Tammy Daybell. His current wife, Lori Vallow Daybell, has already been convicted in the same case.

Meanwhile, two more expert witnesses took the stand Wednesday. Patrick Eller, a digital forensics examiner called by the defense, testified about cell phone data collected in 2019 at Chad Daybell’s Idaho property around the time when JJ and Tylee were last seen.

Eller said that data showed Lori’s brother Alex Cox, who’s now deceased, was on Chad’s property during those key dates in 2019 – but there was nothing pointing to Chad himself.

“There is no identification data showing that any device owned by Chad Daybell is on his property, is that correct?” Prior asked.

“Yes,” said Eller, “nothing in the evidence showed that.”

Eller said there was no identifying data that places Chad Daybell on his property on Sept. 9 or on Sept. 19.

On Sept. 25, Oct. 9, and oct. 15, data from Alex Cox’s device shows he was on or near the Daybell property.

But prosecutors pointed out that on September 9, 2019 – the day after Tylee Ryan was last seen – Chad Daybell texted his wife Tammy, telling her he was in the yard burning limbs, shooting a raccoon, and burying it in his pet cemetery.

“Are you aware that there was a pet cemetery on his property?” prosecutor Rob Wood asked.

“Yes,” said Eller.

“And are you aware that that pet cemetery is the same location that Tylee Ryan was located?” Wood asked.

“Yes,” Eller said.

Prosecutors also explained 13 text messages were exchanged between Chad Daybell and Alex Cox’s devices on Oct. 9, using phones they had just activated that day.

Jurors also heard Wednesday from a DNA specialist, Dr. Greg Hampikian from Boise State University. He testified Chad Daybell’s DNA was not found on any items from his property that were tested in connection with these crimes.

Court will resume Thursday at 8:30 a.m., at which point the judge is expected to share further details about the timeline for the remainder of the trial.


KSL 5 TV Live

Chad Daybell trial

97 exhibits of evidence were sealed after the Chad Daybell murer trial, but his booking photo was r...

Mary Culbertson

Judge in Chad Daybell case permanently seals 97 evidence exhibits after trial

The judge in Chad Daybell's murder trial ordered that 97 exhibits of evidence be permanently sealed.

5 days ago

Chad Daybell sits and closes his eyes after the jury's verdict in his murder trial was read at the ...

Larry D. Curtis

Chad Daybell to appeal to verdict and death penalty, gets public defender

While former Chad Guy Daybell lives in Idaho's prison system, his attorney filed a notice of appeal and also filed a motion to appoint a public defender after his conviction for three murders.

17 days ago

Chad Daybell leaves the courtroom at the conclusion of his sentencing hearing at the Ada County Cou...

Andrew Adams

Daybell jurors speak publicly about death penalty decision

Two days after a jury sentenced Chad Daybell to death for three murders, jurors spoke publicly for the first time about their death penalty decision.

19 days ago

Chad Daybell in a courtroom in a blue checkered shirt and solid yellow tie...

Dakin Andone, CNN

What to know about Idaho’s death penalty after Chad Daybell was sentenced to death

Chad Daybell was sentenced to death for the murders of his wife and his second wife’s two children this weekend, but when and whether he will be executed remains a wide open question.

20 days ago

Jason and Samantha Gwilliam, Tammy Daybell's brother-in-law and sister (KSL TV)...

Lauren Steinbrecher

‘It brings closure’: Victims’ families react to Chad Daybell death sentence

Family members of the three people murdered by Chad Daybell and his wife Lori Vallow Daybell said they are feeling a sense of healing and closure after the 55-year-old religious author from Utah was given the death penalty Saturday. 

22 days ago

Madison County Attorney Rob Wood and Fremont County Lindsey Blake answer questions following Saturd...

Daniel Woodruff

‘Justice was served’: Prosecutors, investigators celebrate after Chad Daybell verdict

Inside an Idaho courtroom, Chad Daybell sat quietly – showing no visible emotion – as he learned his punishment for murder. Outside the Ada County Courthouse, prosecutors and investigators who worked this complex case for years celebrated the jury’s verdict. They spoke publicly about the case for the first time in front of reporters after the sentence was handed down.

22 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for hassle-free computer repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Prosecutors want to call more witnesses in Chad Daybell murder trial after defense rests