FREMONT COUNTY, Idaho — Another new trial date is set for Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow, the eastern Idaho couple charged with multiple counts of murder and conspiracy in the deaths of Vallow's children, Joshua "JJ" Vallow and Tylee Ryan, and Chad Daybell's late wife, Tammy Daybell.
The couple appeared in court together for the first time in months Thursday, for a hearing to determine several matters, including a new trial date, which is now set for April 3, 2023, Idaho Falls TV station KIFI reported.
The charges were filed in Fremont County, but due to a change-of-venue order, the trial will take place in Ada County with a jury to be selected from among Ada County residents. It may last more than two months. Prosecutors are seeking death sentences. Attorneys for both defendants are asking the court to declare the death penalty unconstitutional. Judge Steven Boyce plans to hold a joint hearing on that question.
Since Daybell and Vallow were indicted in May 2021, proceedings against Vallow have twice been paused and trial dates have been vacated because of questions about her mental competence. The most recent stay was lifted in mid-November.
At Thursday's hearing in Fremont County, attorneys for Vallow and Daybell disagreed on the timetable for the trial. Vallow's attorney, Jim Archibald, asked for a start date of Feb. 21, but nothing later than October.
"If it’s after that time, we believe that our client's right to a speedy trial has been violated and will make a motion to dismiss the case," Archibald said.
Daybell's attorney, John Prior, asked that the trial begin no earlier than October 2023. He said his office has received 115 pieces of discovery -- evidence -- and still has months of preparation ahead.
In part because of what Prior has repeatedly called a complex case, Daybell has waived his right to a speedy trial. Vallow has not. Under Idaho law, trial must begin no later than six months after district court arraignment, which often includes an entry of plea, unless the defendant waives the speedy-trial right or the court finds that "good cause has been shown" to hold the trial later, as Judge Boyce found in May.
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