NewsDaybell Trials


Vallow Daybell friend, former sister-in-law cross-examined during trial

Posted at 3:54 PM, Apr 14, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-14 19:47:19-04

BOISE, Idaho — The trial of Lori Vallow Daybell wrapped up its second week Friday with the return to the stand of an Arizona police detective, along with a friend who was married to her brother.

Det. Nathan Duncan with the Chandler (AZ) Police Department was the first to testify. His testimony was about cell phone calls and e-mails between Chad Daybell and Lori, Charles Vallow and Lori, Lori and her brother, Alex Cox, Charles and Tammy Daybell, which all confirmed information that was uncovered by police during their investigation of the shooting of Charles Vallow.

Charles sent e-mails to Tammy Daybell telling her of the affair happening between Chad and Lori, but there is no evidence to confirm whether or not Tammy actually read them. Charles also sent an email to Chad letting him know he was aware of the connection between Chad and his wife.

In a text on June 20, 2019 from Charles to Lori, Charles accused her of infidelity and was stunned that she still attends Temple. He also demanded an apology from Lori for accusing Charles of infidelity.

The following day, Charles sent another message to Lori saying he was going to Idaho to see Tammy Daybell. Lori responded that "She won't listen to you. She is my friend."

On July 11, 2019, Charles sent a text to Cox indicating he believed Lori was up to something.

Charles was shot and killed a few hours later.

The state introduced evidence from Lori's iCloud detailing messages found. In March 2019, Lori sent messages to her brother that talked about getting rid of "Ned", the evil spirit they say had taken over Charles' body.

Messages were also uncovered with communication between Chad and Lori when she found out she was not the beneficiary of Charles's $1 million life insurance policy. Chad indicated that he thought she have been informed of the change. Lori speculated that it was probably Brandon Boudreaux or Kay Woodcock that became the beneficiary.

Det. Duncan confirmed that he shared all of his findings with other law enforcement. The state had no further questions for Duncan.

After a short recess, the state called Zulema Pastenes to the stand. Pastenes was married to Cox for only two weeks before he died and they lived in Gilbert, Arizona. She had been close friends with Lori and Melanie Gibb after meeting Gibb at church and attending a meeting where Lori was the featured speaker.

Pastenes testified that she believed Lori was in very high spiritual standing due to the visions she spoke about having. Vallow Daybell had claimed that she was a witness of Jesus Christ and Pastenes noted this was the highest spiritual experience a person could have.

Pastenes traveled with Vallow Daybell to a religious conference in Utah, believed to be where Chad and Lori first met. She testified that in the car ride back to Arizona, Lori said that Chad told her that they had been married to each other in a past life.

Testimony pivoted to a conversation between Pastenes and Vallow Daybell where Lori said that she and Charles were having financial difficulties, but that the $60,000 she received from life insurance due to the death of her third husband, Joseph Ryan, would help.

Vallow Daybell continued to tell Pastenes about Charles having a dark spirit and wanted to meet with a group of women in Pastenes' home to teach them something. Lori also told Pastenes that she and Charles had separated and her husband had taken things from her.

At the meeting in Pastenes home, Vallow Daybell used a whiteboard to teach more about the Light and Dark ratings, then told the women they needed to perform a casting on Charles.

Pastenes testified that this was her first casting, and she was involved in a second one weeks later to get rid of a demon named "Ned" that had entered Charles' body.

Another friend, Melanie Gibb, had been at both castings, and Alex Cox had joined in the second one.

Although Vallow Daybell and the others believed these castings were working, they also believed that more powerful demons were taking over Charles' body. Cox believed that if people had demons they were dangerous.

Pastenes testified that Lori claimed to have a spiritual connection to the number 711 and that it had appeared often in Lori's lives. She said she remembers the day Charles died because it was on 7-11, and Lori had told her it was orchestrated by God.

Lori had explained that a fight broke out and Cox protected her by shooting Charles in self-defense. Vallow Daybell also told Pastenes that certain things had to happen before the Second Coming and she needed to cleanse the Earth of evil spirits.

Charles' death was one of those things.

Pastenes testified that Lori told her she was moving to Rexburg because Chad had told Lori this was going to be a safe place when other countries came to invade the US. Chad had told Lori that soldiers and warriors would defend Rexburg.

After lunch, testimony continued from Pastenes. She explains that Chad gave her a blessing stated that the savior was standing right next to him. He continued that all of her sins were forgiven and it was time for her to move to Rexburg and that she would be getting married to someone.

Pastenes and Cox began a short courtship and got engaged in Rexburg with Chad and Lori encouraging them to date and get married, expressing belief that together they are stronger than being separate.

Questioning then pivoted to the attempted shooting of Tammy Daybell and Tammy's death. Pastenes testified that Vallow Daybell had recently told her that Tammy was possessed and needed a demon cast out of her, and on the evening of the attempted shooting, Lori was in Arizona with Pastenes and Gibb performing a casting on Tammy.

That same evening, Vallow Daybell took a phone call and became very angry with whoever was on the phone, saying to Pastenes after hanging up that "Idiot, can't do anything right by himself."

Tammy Daybell died in her sleep less than two weeks later.

Pastenes testified that Cox was on the phone with Chad and Lori and learned that the body of Tammy Daybell was being exhumed. Pastenes didn't understand why since Tammy had died of natural causes. She then asked Cox if he had anything to do with Tammy's death, but he did not answer at first.

Eventually, Cox responded "I think I'm being their fall guy." Pastenes admitted to being confused and frustrated that Cox was not saying much. Cox finally told her "Either I am a man of God or I am not."

Alex Cox passed away the next day, on Dec. 12, 2019.

The prosecution admitted pages from Pastenes journal into evidence, which contained diagrams of the different worlds and the scales of Light and Dark, as taught to her by Lori and Chad.

The couple had taught Pastenes that every time a demon is cast out of a body, there is a two-minute window that can allow another one to come in. To prevent this, you need to use things like water and fire to destroy the body. Pastenes said that one way to prevent another evil spirit from entering is by binding the body.

Another document showed the ratings for all of Lori's family members, as Chad had requested from Lori and Chad had shown Pastenes in August 2019. It showed that Tylee, Charles Vallow and Brandon Boudreaux had Dark ratings (Tylee's being the darkest), while Lori's niece, Melani Boudreaux's, was Light.

Questioning by the state concluded with Pastenes confirming that Cox took his role to protect Lori very seriously.

The defense then began its cross-examination of Pastenes, inquiring about visions and Pastenes' spirituality. She said that she and Vallow Daybell mostly spoke about spiritual things, and confirmed that she had her own amazing spiritual experience at the Temple.

A defense attorney read a text message from Pastenes to Chad telling him about her experiencing visions after she had received his blessing.

Pastenes was asked for clarification about the castings, and testified that nobody was ever physically harmed, and they were meant to bind the spirit of the person.

The defense asked if her views on the casting and Light work had changed, to which Pastenes responded that two children have died, and a mother of five has died. She considered that evil and confirmed her views have changed. She believes the deaths were directly tied to Chad and Lori's work.

The defense inquired when Pastenes was ordained in the Church of the Firstborn, but she couldn't remember exactly, but saidChad made her feel very special and his blessings were very personal.

Court adjourned for the day and there is no court on Monday. Cross-examination of Pastenes will resume on Tuesday.