Idaho judge grants Chad Daybell, husband of ‘doomsday cult’ mom, request for change of venue in murder trial

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Prosecutors wanted to keep the trial in Fremont County, but the jurors were separated and elected elsewhere.

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An Idaho judge on Friday allowed “Doomsday Cult” mom Lori Vallow’s husband Chad Daybell to change the venue for his murder trial amid media attention surrounding the case.

Judge Steven Boyce suggested that the trial be moved from Fremont County to Ada County, according to him. court order.

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Lori Vallow, Chad Daybell charged with murder in connection with the deaths of their children

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“The Court has always found the citizens of Fremont County to be fair, attentive and dedicated jurors when called upon to fulfill a critically important civic duty,” Boyce wrote in its ruling. “The Court has no doubt that in the absence of the extraordinary circumstances presented herein, Fremont County would have been an ideal location for this trial, and an ideal jury pool from which the trial of facts would have been selected to determine the case.” However, this is not a common case.

Defense lawyers argued that the media attention surrounding the trial may have biased potential jurors. Prosecutors wanted to keep the trial in Fremont County, but the jurors were separated and elected elsewhere. Boyce declined that request.

The judge said he considered a number of factors, including Fremont County’s small population, courtroom availability and facilities, security, staffing and media presence, before rendering his ruling.

“The Court has concluded that Ada County will provide the best opportunity to conduct trial in this case,” Boyce wrote.

Daybell and Vallow face multiple criminal charges in connection with the deaths of their two children – Joshua “JJ” Vallow, 7, and their teenage sister, Tylee Ryan – and his ex-wife, Tammy Daybell. The children’s remains were found last year at Daybell’s Idaho property.

Vallow is also facing charges of first-degree murder in Arizona in connection with the July 2019 shooting of 62-year-old Charles Vallow, who was her husband at the time.

A trial date has not been set for Daybell. Vallow’s case has been put on hold for being mentally unfit to stand trial.


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