Idaho prosecutors want to try “Doomsday” cult couple Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow-Daybell together — a move experts claim will allow them to “dirty up” the defendants in front of a jury.
Madison County Special Prosecutor Rob Wood filed the motion requesting the joint trial Tuesday, arguing that both defendants are charged with conspiring to hide the remains of Vallow-Daybell’s children Joshua “JJ” Vallow, 7, and Tylee Ryan, 16, so their cases are inextricably linked, the Daily Mail reported.
Authorities found the decomposing remains in June buried in a pet cemetery on Daybell’s property in Rexburg, Idaho. The children were last seen alive in September.
The married couple are slated to go on trial in January. They each face multiple felony counts for conspiring to destroy or conceal evidence, but they’re not charged with the children’s deaths. Officials haven’t publicly disclosed how the two kids died.
Former federal prosecutor Neama Rahmani, who is president of West Coast Trial Lawyers and is not connected to the case, said it makes sense that the state wants to try them together.
“Prosecutors generally prefer to try co-defendants jointly because it preserves limited resources and allows them to dirty up the criminal defendants in front of a jury,” he told The Post.
“Defense attorneys, on the other hand, usually push for severance or separate trials to avoid guilt by association and to blame the person who is not there.”
Rahmani said a judge was unlikely to grant the prosecution’s request if the defense objects.
He also predicted it was only a matter of time before one of the defendants talks.
“Lori and Chad will likely turn on one another when the alternative is life in prison or a potential death sentence,” he said. “The only defense that they have is it was someone else, and the most likely person is the spouse.”
Vallow-Daybell, a member of the doomsday cult Preparing a People, allegedly told a friend that the children had become zombies and the only way to expel the evil spirits from their bodies was to kill them.
Daybell, also an adherent of the prepper group, has written several books on the Apocalypse and the Second Coming of Christ.
Arizona authorities are also probing Vallow-Daybell’s possible role in the fatal shooting of her ex-husband in 2019.
Meanwhile, Idaho authorities are investigating the suspicious death of Daybell’s wife Tammy, which occurred just weeks before he married Vallow-Daybell in Hawaii last November.
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