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Idaho Man on Death Row after Jury Gave Guilty Verdict: Killed Wife and Two Kids; Second Wife also in Jail for Life

Idaho Man on Death Row after Jury Gave Guilty Verdict: Killed Wife and Two Kids; Second Wife also in Jail for Life

After a jury found Chad Daybell guilty of first-degree murder and conspiracy in the deaths of his first wife and two children from his second marriage, the death penalty was recommended and sentenced on Saturday.

Daybell was found guilty on Thursday of first-degree murder and conspiracy charges in the deaths of his first wife, Tammy Daybell, as well as two children from his second marriage, Joshua “JJ” Vallow, who was seven years old, and Tylee Ryan, who was sixteen years old, in a case that prosecutors contended was driven by ambition, sexual desire, wealth, and end-of-the-world religious beliefs.

The death penalty was officially imposed on Saturday by Judge Steven Boyce following a jury’s determination that the penalty was justified under the law, as stated in a long verdict form that was read in court earlier. In addition, the judge handed down a 15-year jail term for insurance fraud.

Upon hearing Boyce’s death sentence, Daybell’s face remained expressionless. “The aggravating circumstances when weighed against the mitigating circumstances do not make the imposition of the death penalty unjust,” the court stated, adding that the jury had “found beyond a reasonable doubt.”

On Friday afternoon, the sequestered jury started discussing his fate and continued for six hours before calling it a night. On Saturday, at approximately 8:30 a.m. MT, the jury proceeded to deliberate, and the result was issued by the Ada County courts at 10:45 a.m.

In a case that garnered national attention, including from prosecutors’ description of the couple’s “doomsday” religious views, jurors heard conflicting portrayals of the man from attorneys before commencing deliberations. In 2022, the shocking triple homicide was covered in a true crime documentary that was available on Netflix.

Prosecutor Rob Wood asked the jury to deliberate aggravating circumstances that would qualify Daybell for the death penalty in Friday’s opening statement.

He began by saying that the three murders had been carried out in exchange for money. The life insurance policies that supposedly paid out to Daybell following the death of his first wife were the basis for his conviction for insurance fraud. Because Daybell continued to collect Social Security benefits for her children after their deaths, she and his second wife were both found guilty of grand theft.

Lori Vallow Daybell, Daybell’s second wife, was similarly found guilty of the murders of her children and given a life term without parole sentence approximately one year prior to the verdict. A second conviction she received was for plotting the murder of Tammy Daybell. Vallow Daybell’s legal team has brought up the question of her competency to stand trial in her appeal to the state Supreme Court, challenging her convictions.

A few weeks before Chad Daybell wed Vallow Daybell, Tammy Daybell was discovered dead in her Idaho home on October 19, 2019. The authorities have stated that they suspect Tylee and JJ were killed in September 2019, the month in which they were last known to have been seen.

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