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Opening statements begin in triple murder trial of ‘doomsday cut’ mom Lori Vallow Daybell

A video screengrab shows Lori Vallow Daybell.

Lori Vallow Daybell smiled in court several times during an Aug. 16, 2022 pretrial hearing. (Law&Crime Network)

The triple murder trial for Lori Vallow Daybell, 49, a “doomsday cult”-connected mother of two dead children and two dead ex-husbands began in earnest with opening statements in Ada County, Idaho on Monday 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.

On Friday, 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.

Lori Vallow works with her defense attorneys during the final day of jury selection

Lori Vallow works with her defense attorneys during the final day of jury selection on April 7, 2023 in Ada County, Idaho. (Pool courtroom sketch artist)

More Law&Crime coverage: ‘A total narcissist’: 7 shocking things about accused killer Lori Vallow – including how she got her ‘garish red lipstick’

The court has barred the use of any cameras or digital recording devices throughout the process. Reporters are allowed to use Twitter from inside the courthouse and an assemblage of media outlets pooled resources for a courtroom sketch artist to provide an analog record of the events that occur.

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

Update: 3:30 P.M. MST – Brandon Boudreaux IDs the Shooter and Is Cross-Examined

Update: 3:15 P.M. MST – A Detailed Retelling of the Day of the Shooting

Update: 3:06 P.M. MST – An Attempted Shooting and an Objection

Update: 2:44 P.M. MST – Brandon Boudreaux Cannot Reconcile With His Wife

Update: 1:39 P.M. MST – The State Calls Their Second Witness

More Law&Crime coverage: What to know about the Lori Vallow trial

Update: 12:26 P.M. MST – An Objection During the Lunch Break

Update: 12:11 P.M. MST – The Last Days of JJ’s Life

Update 11:59 A.M. MST – Life Insurance and the JJ Factor

Update: 11:40 A.M. MST – The Death of Charles Vallow

Update: 11:16 A.M. MST – The State’s First Witness

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

Update: 10:30 A.M. MST – The Defense Says There’s No Evidence of a Crime

Update: 10:13 A.M. MST – Now We Know How Tammy Daybell Died

Update: 9:44 A.M. MST – The State Says It’s All About Sex, Money, and Power

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