Lori Vallow Daybell found guilty of murdering her 2 children
“48 Hours” will air “Lori Vallow Daybell: Guilty” Saturday, May 13 at 10/9c on CBS and streaming on Paramount+.
An Idaho jury found Lori Vallow Daybell, the mom charged with murder in the deaths of two of her children, 16-year-old Tylee Ryan and 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow, guilty on all charges.
Vallow Daybell, 49, was also found guilty of conspiracy to commit murder in the deaths of the children and the death of her husband’s first wife, Tammy Daybell, as well as guilty of theft charges for stealing Social Security payments issued for the children.
Judge Steven Boyce said she will be sentenced in about three months. She could face life in prison, but Boyce had taken the death penalty off the table ahead of her trial.
Her husband, Chad Daybell, has also been charged in the case, but faces a separate trial at a later date. He has pleaded not guilty.
A source close to the trial told CBS News that while Vallow Daybell showed no emotion at the verdict, she was upset with her attorneys for trying in closing arguments to shift blame to her husband.
Relatives of the victims reacted with tears, signs of relief and a fist pump, and sat arm-in-arm as the judge wrapped up the hearing.
JJ Vallow’s grandparents, Kay and Larry Woodcock, were greeted by cheers when they exited the courthouse as supporters sang “We Will Rock You,” one of JJ’s favorite songs. The two had attended much of the trial.
A visibly emotional Larry Woodcock thanked the jurors and said he wanted to hug them for what they’d had to see and hear during the case, and thanked everyone involved.
“Even the defense, I shook their hands. I have said many times, I want a fair, honest and righteous decision. I think we had 18 jurors that all deserve our appreciation, our love, and they gave an honest, fair and righteous verdict,” he said.
When asked his final message to Lori, he started to sing a Willie Nelson song: “Turn out the lights, the party’s over — they say that all good things must end.”
“Lori, it ended,” he said.
Woodcock also had a message for the three victims in the case as he fought tears.
“JJ, I love you. Papa wished you were here in other circumstances. Tylee, Papa loves you. Tammy, I never met you. Tammy, you are part of our life — Tammy, I am sorry. My heart hurts for you. My heart hurts for you three,” he said.
Prosecutors Rob Wood and Lindsey Blake said in a statement they were pleased with the verdict and thanked the jury, but would not discuss further details of the case, citing the pending charges against Chad Daybell.
“We want to assure each of you that we remain committed to pursuing justice for Tylee Ryan, JJ Vallow and Tammy Daybell,” they said in the statement.
The jury of five women and seven men started its deliberations on Thursday afternoon, returning Friday to deliberate through lunch before returning the unanimous verdict.
Prosecutors called dozens of witnesses to build their case against Vallow Daybell, whom they accused of being motivated by money, power and sex in a case involving the increasingly fringe religious beliefs of the accused couple. Other deaths in their circle have also raised suspicions, including the shooting death of Vallow Daybell’s husband Charles Vallow by her brother, Alex Cox, in what Cox claimed was self defense, and Cox’s later unexpected death.
The defense did not call any witnesses, and Vallow Daybell did not testify.
Vallow Daybell is also charged with conspiracy to commit murder in her husband’s Charles Vallow’s death in a separate case in Arizona.
Kris Van Cleave contributed to this report.