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

Jun 1, 2024, 4:29 PM | Updated: 8:07 pm

BOISE Inside an Idaho courtroom, Chad Daybell sat quietly – showing no visible emotion – as he learned his punishment for murder.

The 55-year-old religious book author was sentenced to death Saturday for the murders of his longtime wife Tammy Daybell, and two children – 16-year-old Tylee Ryan and 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow – while he was having an affair with their mother.

Click here for complete coverage of the Chad Daybell trial

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.

Chad Daybell sentenced to death for murders of wife, 2 children

“We are pleased with the outcome,” said Fremont County Attorney Lindsey Blake, “and that justice has been served for the victims in this case.”

Blake and her fellow prosecutors sought the death penalty against Chad Daybell – and got it – after a nine-week trial featuring dozens of witnesses and graphic testimony. Daybell was convicted of the murders on Thursday. The jury then deliberated over two days on the penalty phase of the trial since it was a capital case.

“I do think the crimes in this case were extremely heinous,” Blake told KSL TV.

The jury unanimously agreed, finding that Chad Daybell showed “utter disregard for human life” and posed a continuing threat to society. In addition to the death penalty, the defendant was sentenced Saturday to prison time for insurance fraud in the case.

Chad’s wife, Lori Vallow Daybell, was convicted in this same case last year and is serving life in prison. She also faces related charges in Arizona.

“Today, justice was served for Tylee, JJ, and Tammy,” said prosecutor Rob Wood, “three innocent victims whose lives were tragically cut short by the selfish and cruel actions of Chad and Lori Daybell who embarked on a path of destruction that irrevocably altered the lives of countless families and countless individuals.”

Rexburg Police Detective Ray Hermosillo, who has been involved in this case since day one, called it a “great day” after the sentence came down.

“I think we’re all feeling the exact same thing, which is just relief,” he said. “We’re glad it’s done.”

The investigation into the crimes of Chad and Lori Vallow Daybell spanned years and multiple states. Getting to this point now, Hermosillo told KSL TV, is surreal.

“This is all about JJ, Tylee, and Tammy. This is why we did this,” he said. “I hope that they’re looking down, they’re happy, and they’re proud, and yeah, this was all for them.”

Prosecutors said they hoped those families impacted by Chad Daybell’s crimes could begin to find healing.

“As much closure as they can start to have,” said Blake, “I think that process can start now.”

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