CHAD DAYBELL TRIAL

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.


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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.

 

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