Daybell jurors speak publicly about death penalty decision

Jun 4, 2024, 8:15 PM | Updated: Jun 5, 2024, 2:53 pm

BOISE, IDAHO — 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.

“Yes, I was one of 12 people that said somebody should die,” juror Daynna Skiver said during an interview Monday with KSL 5. “I don’t think I’d be a very empathetic person if I said that didn’t weigh very heavily on me—it does—but I think it was the right decision for the heinous crimes that he committed and orchestrated.”

Daybell was convicted in the murders of former wife Tammy Daybell as well as wife Lori Vallow’s children, J.J. Vallow and Tylee Ryan.

Lori Vallow was also found guilty in 2023 of the murders of J.J. and Tylee as well as conspiracy to commit murder in the death of Tammy Daybell.

She was also indicted in the death of her fourth husband, Charles Vallow.

Skiver, however, said she left the trial convinced Daybell orchestrated the killings.

“You knew that he was the planner, the puppet master,” Skiver said. “He was leading everybody.”

Skiver said she saw photos and heard testimony that she will never forget, and she struggles to contemplate what happened to the victims, including J.J.

“I think about those poor children and that poor J.J.,” Skiver said as she turned emotional. “His mind trusting a human being more than anybody in the world and here they are doing this to you.”

Alternate juror Lori Horne, who had to be present for the entirety of the two-month trial, said the roughest day was the day jurors heard impact statements from family before sentencing.

“I think that was the roughest day of the whole trial—just really hearing how this truly impacted so many people,” she said.

Neither Horne nor Skiver were expecting to be called to be on a jury for a death penalty case.

“I’m sure my face was like a billboard with the shock,” Horne said. “’Oh my gosh, I can’t believe this is what I’m in here for—I don’t think any of us expected to be called for this trial.”

Horne said she hoped jurors’ work helped remaining family members in some way.

Skiver said jury instructions were very clear and in the end everyone was resolved they made the right decision for the death penalty.

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Daybell jurors speak publicly about death penalty decision