Chad, Lori Daybell appear in court on new murder charges

Posted at 10:57 AM, May 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-26 20:21:35-04

ST. ANTHONY, Idaho — Chad and Lori Daybell made their first court appearances since being indicted on multiple murder charges in relation to the deaths of Tylee Ryan, J.J. Vallow and Tammy Daybell.

The Daybells appeared via Zoom Wednesday. Chad Daybell went first, followed by Lori about 30 minutes later.

Chad, Lori Daybell appear in court on new murder charges

Chad Daybell waived his right to a formal reading of the indictment, leaving Judge Faren Eddins to read the charges against Daybell and possible punishments.

The start of Lori Daybell's appearance was delayed by 15 minutes before the court found "exigent circumstances," and an oral motion by her attorney Mark Means to continue the hearing. The court granted the continuance to an undetermined date.

The defense is likely trying to buy more time to catch up after the release of the indictment, explained defense attorney and former prosecutor Nathan Evershed, who is not tied to the case.

"What it does is, that slows things down a bit to help explore the kinds of defenses that are out there," he said. "And in this case there are probably many, many different kinds of defenses."

Evershed said sometimes the defense will need to hire experts, or talk to other attorneys to look at what is in the best interest of their client.

"There could be an insanity defense, there could be a compulsion defense, there could be a mental illness kind of defense," he listed off.

At this point, it's hard to say what Means is looking at for Lori.

If that's the case, why would Chad Daybell's proceedings be going full steam ahead, while Lori Daybell is pumping the brakes?

When he worked as a prosecutor, Evershed he often saw cases involving multiple defendants in a single episode. They would have their own defenses, he said, with separate attorneys, approaches and trials.

And many times, the approach is to point the finger at the other person, Evershed indicated.

"They could just say, ‘Ladies and gentleman of the jury, this wasn’t me.’ Or their attorneys saying, ‘This wasn’t my client, this was other person that was charged. My client wasn’t a part of it,'" Evershed said. "So, for a variety of reasons, it’s a good idea for defense attorneys to try to separate this as much as they can and get on two different tracks."

A grand jury indicted both Daybells for the murder of the Lori's two children, and charged Chad with murder in the death of his ex-wife Tammy.

Chad Daybell's arraignment has been set for June 9, the one year anniversary of the day J.J. and Tylee's remains were found.

Former FBI agent Frank Montoya discusses the Daybell murder investigation below

Retired FBI agent breaks down Daybell murder investigation

Both Chad and Lori were also charged with three counts of conspiracy to commit murder of all three victims.

Lori faces grand theft charges for allegedly pocketing the social security benefits of JJ and Tylee after they died, and Chad is charged with two counts of insurance fraud for allegedly maxing out Tammy's life insurance and then collecting it after her death.