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Lori Vallow trial suddenly halted on second day of testimony over defendant’s ’emotional’ state

Lori Vallow appears in a mugshot

Lori Vallow appears in a mugshot from the Ada County Jail in March 2023.

The triple murder trial for Lori Vallow Daybell, 49, a “doomsday cult”-connected mother of two dead children and two dead former husbands continued with the second day of testimony in Ada County, Idaho on Tuesday morning.

Vallow and her fifth and current husband, Chad Daybell, 54, stand accused of murder over the 2019 deaths of Joshua “JJ” Vallow, 7, and Tylee Ashlyn Ryan, 17. The children disappeared on different dates in September of that year. Vallow was initially arrested in Hawaii in February 2020 on charges of child desertion. Daybell was arrested later that year after the children’s bodies were found buried at his property. The two defendants were indicted for the murder of Vallow’s children and Daybell’s first wife, Tammy Daybell, 49, in May 2021. Initially being prosecuted as husband-and-wife co-defendants, the couple’s cases were recently severed and will be tried separately.

Last week, jury selection wrapped up with 12 jurors and six alternates being chosen from nearly 2,000 Ada County residents who received a summons. The trial is being overseen by Seventh District Judge Steven Boyce, who previously explained to would-be jurors that the complicated case is expected to last as long as eight weeks.

On Monday, jurors heard testimony from Kay Woodcock, JJ Vallow’s grandmother, who described how the defendant, over the years, made the metamorphosis from a “very engaged” and “doting mom” to someone who “didn’t want” her adoptive son anymore.

More Law&Crime coverage: ‘I just want to stare her down’: Grandparents of Lori Vallow’s slain special needs son says cult mom ‘not winning’ triple murder trial

The state’s second witness was Brandon Boudreaux, the ex-husband of Vallow’s niece, Melani Boudreaux Pawlowski. Boudreaux and Pawlowski have children together, and the father, in child custody filings, has claimed that Pawlowski shared Vallow’s alleged doomsday belief system and knew where the then-missing children were. In one court filing, Brandon Boudreaux accused his ex-wife of conspiring with her uncle, Alex Cox, to kill him.

Brandon Boudreaux recounted the day of the shooting in Ada County late Monday afternoon.

More Law&Crime coverage: ‘Money, power, and sex’: Lurid details of how Lori Vallow Daybell’s alleged victims died revealed for the first time

Law&Crime correspondent Gigi McKelvey will provide rolling updates as the case progresses Tuesday and throughout the trial:

Update: 2:31 P.M. MST – Jurors Cry as Grim Evidence Continues

Update: 2:20 P.M. MST – Trial Resumes with Graphic Details

Update: 1:55 P.M. MST – The Defendant Is Back and She Wants to Leave

Update: 1:39 P.M. MST – An Unexpected Pause

Update: 11:29 A.M. MST – Another Gruesome Discovery

Update: 11:20 A.M. MST – Finding JJ’s Body

Update: 11:03 A.M. MST – Detective Hermosillo Stays on the Stand

Update: 10:14 A.M. MST – “Proof of Life”

Update: 9:57 A.M. MST – Jurors View Exhibits from Another Search

Update: 9:45 A.M. MST – A Collection of Documents Enter Over an Objection

Update: 9:33 A.M. MST – Details of a Search

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