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Daybell lawyer asks to drop charges, prosecution files to combine trials

ST. ANTHONY, Idaho — Two separate motions filed in Idaho Court over the last week are looking to change the way the felony trials for both Chad and Lori Daybell will proceed. 

In one motion filed by Chad Daybell’s attorney, John Prior, last week asked the State of Idaho to dismiss all charges against him, saying the prosecution provided insufficient evidence during their preliminary hearing in early August.

And, on Monday, state prosecutors asked that both cases against the Daybells be combined, arguing their evidence against the two are nearly identical.

Motion to dismiss charges

In two motions filed on Thursday, Chad Daybell’s defense attorney, John Prior, requested more time for a hearing, citing a “lack of sufficient evidence” presented against his client.

“The charges are not supported by the evidence and duplicative as allegations against the defendant. Further, the prosecution has yet to present evidence to support when the alleged acts is supposedly to have taken place.”

Prior says that the prosecution’s assertions were “vague and overly broad” and as such violate Daybell’s constitutional right to be “fairly notified and appraised of when, how, and what he is accused of doing.”

In a separate motion, Prior also requested that the 14-day deadline for a hearing on his request to have charges dropped. be extended because his office had not received a transcript of the preliminary hearing or evidence as part of the court’s discovery.

Motion to combine trials

In another motion filed by special prosecutor Rob Wood on Monday, he asks that both Chad Daybell and his wife Lori’s trials be combined, arguing that the evidence they have in both cases is nearly identical, and as such, the trials would also be nearly identical.

Chad Daybell pleaded not guilty of two felony counts of conspiracy to commit destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence, and two felony counts of destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence.

Lori Daybell’s arraignment is set for Thursday, September 10. She will enter a plea on two felony charges of conspiracy to commit destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence.

According to East Idaho News, “Under Idaho court procedures, co-defendants can be charged under the same complaint if they are accused of participating in the same act or acts of the alleged crimes.”


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Wood argues in his memorandum: “the statements the Daybells (and Alex Cox) each made as co-conspirators in furtherance of the conspiracy are allowed as evidence against each of them and as such it promotes judicial economy and efficiency to have each defendant in the same trial while those statements are introduced…

“The evidence presented at Chad Daybell’s preliminary hearing, which will be expanded on at trial, established that the Daybells acted in concert to mislead law enforcement and others in regards to the location of the deceased children’s bodies. Judicial economy would require that the State not be required to try essentially identical cases of husband and wife acting as coconspirators twice.”

What’s next?

Lori Vallow Daybell is expected to be arraigned on Thursday on two felony charges of conspiracy to commit destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence.

Chad Daybell has already pleaded not guilty on two felony counts of conspiracy to commit destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence, and two felony counts of destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence. His jury trial is set to begin on January 11.


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