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Vallow Daybell trial, hearings closed to public, including cameras

Posted at 3:31 PM, Sep 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-23 18:11:48-04

ST. ANTHONY, Idaho — Saying visual coverage of the upcoming trial of Lori Vallow Daybell and Chad Daybell would "impede the ability of the parties to select fair and unbiased jurors," a judge has blocked all cameras from the courtroom.

Seventh District Judge Steven Boyce made his ruling official Friday, which means no video will be provided at and and all courtroom proceedings moving forward.

Late last month, attorneys for Vallow Daybell asked the judge to ban cameras from the courtroom, contending one news organization abused the privilege to videotape the proceedings when it repeatedly zoomed in on Vallow Daybell's face during an Aug. 16 hearing. The attorneys, Jim Archibald and John Thomas, claimed the cameras and microphones could potentially be used to overhear private conversations or to view private notes on the defense table.

In his ruling, Boyce acknowledged the case has garnered worldwide attention, but believed the claims by Archibald and Thomas were "well founded."

"While the right to public access must be protected, the scope of the coverage cannot supersede the rights of all parties to the fair administration of justice in this case," Boyce wrote.

The couple is accused of conspiring together to kill Lori Vallow Daybell's two youngest children, Joshua “JJ” Vallow and Tylee Ryan, as well as Chad Daybell's late wife Tammy Daybell. The strange details of the case — including prosecutors' allegations that the pair used unusual doomsday-focused religious beliefs as the justification for the killings — have drawn international attention.