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Prosecutors to seek death penalty for Chad Daybell

Posted at 5:12 PM, Aug 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-05 23:11:56-04

ST. ANTHONY, Idaho — Prosecutors say they will seek the death penalty for Chad Daybell in the upcoming trial for the man accused of killing his step-children and former wife.

READ: Chad Daybell trial set to begin Nov. 8

Daybell, along with his wife Lori Daybell, were indicted in May on multiple counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Lori's children, J.J. Vallow and Tylee Ryan. Chad Daybell was also charged with first-degree murder in the death of Tammy Daybell, his former wife.

Chad Daybell pleaded not guilty to the charges against him on June 9.

In court documents filed Thursday, reasons were cited why Daybell would be eligible for the death penalty, including committing the murders for financial gain and an "utter disregard for human life."

Prosecutors added that they still intend to seek the death penalty even if Daybell is convicted on just one of the three murder counts.

"Our process in making this determination was lengthy and comprehensive. We conferred with those immediate family members of JJ Vallow, Tylee Ryan and Tammy Daybell, who have indicated a willingness to speak with us and allowed them an opportunity to provide their input if they wished to do so," prosecutors said in a statement to FOX 13. "The ultimate decision to seek capital punishment rests with the State, and after completing the entire process, we determined that the nature and magnitude of these crimes warrant the possibility of the highest possible punishment."

JJ and Tylee were reported missing in Idaho in the fall of 2019, shortly after Daybell married Lori Vallow Daybell. The children were reported missing by JJ's grandparents.

READ: Chad Daybell won't be prosecuted in Charles Vallow death case

While authorities searched for the children, the Daybells traveled to Hawaii. Vallow Daybell was arrested there in February 2020 and charged with the desertion of her children.

In June 2020, police executed a search warrant at Daybell's home, where they discovered the remains of JJ and Tylee buried on the property. Daybell was arrested and charged with destruction of evidence.

This determination applies only to Chad Daybell. The charges involving Lori Vallow Daybell are currently stayed.