Lori Vallow Daybell appeals murder convictions in her children’s deaths | CNN

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Lori Vallow Daybell, the Idaho woman serving a life sentence for murdering her two children, has appealed her convictions to the state Supreme Court, court documents show.

In the motion filed last week, Vallow Daybell’s attorney said her legal team intends to raise whether Vallow Daybell was mentally competent to stand trial in the deaths of her children, Tylee Ryan, 16, and Joshua “JJ” Vallow, 7.

Attorney James Archibald also requested that a state public defender be assigned to assist in the appeal as Vallow Daybell says she cannot afford an attorney.

Vallow Daybell was convicted by a jury in May of murdering her children and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole in July. She was also convicted of conspiring to kill her husband’s first wife, Tammy Daybell.

Following her indictment and not guilty plea in 2021, a judge ruled Vallow Daybell was incompetent to stand trial, but she was deemed fit to proceed with trial after spending nearly a year in a mental hospital.

Vallow Daybell has maintained her innocence.

The children were last seen in September 2019, and Tammy Daybell died the following month; Vallow and Chad Daybell were married weeks later. In June 2020, law enforcement authorities discovered the remains of Tylee and JJ in Daybell’s backyard in Fremont County.

Chad Daybell is set to be tried separately in April on two felony counts of conspiracy to commit destruction; alteration or concealment of evidence; and two felony counts of destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence. He has pleaded not guilty.

An indictment filed in May 2021 against Chad Daybell and Vallow Daybell accuses them of endorsing and espousing “religious beliefs for the purposes of” justifying or encouraging the killings of Tammy Daybell and the children. Vallow Daybell was also accused of collecting Social Security benefits on behalf of her children after their deaths, according to the indictment.

The judge who sentenced Vallow Daybell said he believed the state’s case that she murdered her children to “remove them as obstacles and to profit financially,” calling it “the most evil and destructive path possible.” Judge Steven W. Boyce also said Vallow Daybell justified their killings “by going down a bizarre, religious rabbit hole.”

The case began in late November 2019, when relatives asked police in Rexburg, Idaho, to do a welfare check on JJ because they hadn’t talked to him recently. Police didn’t locate him at the family’s house and were told by Vallow Daybell and Chad Daybell he was staying with a family friend in Arizona, according to authorities.

When police returned the next day to serve a search warrant, the couple was gone. They were found months later in Hawaii, in January 2020, while the search for the missing children continued back home.

By that time, Tylee and JJ had been dead for months, according to prosecutors. Tylee was believed to have been killed between September 8 and 9, 2019, and JJ between September 22 or 23, prosecutors said.

Read More: Lori Vallow Daybell appeals murder convictions in her children’s deaths | CNN

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