Former juror shares views on Chad Daybell trial as jury begins deliberating

May 29, 2024, 9:47 PM | Updated: 10:44 pm

BOISE — As the prosecution and defense made their final pitches to the jury Wednesday in the Chad Daybell triple murder trial, Tom Evans had a lot of memories come flooding back.

One year ago, Evans was a juror in the trial of Lori Vallow Daybell, Chad’s wife. For weeks, he listened to evidence against Vallow Daybell before she was found guilty on all counts in this same case.

Now this year, he’s sat and listened to the case against Chad Daybell, who’s accused of killing his longtime wife, Tammy Daybell, and two of his new wife’s children – 16-year-old Tylee Ryan and 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow – while he was having an affair with their mother before he married her.

“It’s a really convoluted case with a lot of pieces,” Evans said, “and I think the prosecution has done an amazing job of presenting it in a way that makes sense.”

During Vallow Daybell’s trial, Evans was ultimately dismissed as an alternate juror and did not participate in the deliberation. But he said his mind was made up as to her guilt about “halfway through” the trial.

“I felt like the prosecution had proven their case,” he said, “and honestly, I was just ready for it at that point to get over with.”

Prosecutors in Chad Daybell’s case hope the jury will convict the defendant of murder, conspiracy, and insurance fraud. He could face the death penalty if he’s found guilty.

“Money, power, and sex. That’s what the defendant cared about,” prosecutor Lindsey Blake told jurors during closing arguments Wednesday, which lasted several hours.

The defense, though, argued there’s plenty of doubt in this case.

“There has not been any evidence saying, we’re going to kill the kids, we’re going to kill Tammy,” said defense attorney, John Prior.

Prior argued Chad Daybell was a victim himself – not a criminal – and was focused only on his religious beliefs

Larry Woodcock, JJ’s grandfather, said he believed prosecutors made their case.

“I truly feel there’s only one verdict’s going to come down,” Woodcock said.

As for Evans, he described how the jury is likely feeling now at this stage of the trial that’s lasted nine weeks.

“I think they’re ready for this to be over,” Evans said. “Their minds are probably pretty well made up.”

The jury is set to resume deliberations Thursday at 8 a.m. at the Ada County Courthouse in Boise, Idaho.

KSL TV has been and will continue to stream the trial live.

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Former juror shares views on Chad Daybell trial as jury begins deliberating