“Doomsday” mom Lori Vallow was all smiles in court Tuesday as her attorneys asked a judge to send the case back to a grand jury because of the “confusing” indictment.
The lawyers for Vallow, who is accused of killing two of her children and stealing their social security benefits, also told a judge they “just want a fair trial” during the hearing in an Idaho county courtroom.
The 49-year-old mother and her husband Chad Daybell, 52, have pleaded not guilty to murder, conspiracy and grand theft charges in connection with the 2019 deaths of 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow and 17-year-old Tylee Ryan.
Vallow’s lawyers on Tuesday asked the judge to separate her conspiracy to commit murder and conspiracy to commit theft charges, arguing they could confuse a jury.
“I have issue with the state saying, ‘Hey, we can lump all these things into one conspiracy charge,’ and as long as they find one of these conspiracies, then the conspiracy is met,” attorney John Thomas said during Tuesday’s proceeding, Fox News reported. “It doesn’t make a lot of sense that way.”
One of the conspiracy charges was lodged because prosecutors say the couple planned to kill Vallow’s daughter and steal the social security benefits the child was receiving because her father had died. The other conspiracy charge is the same, but in connection with her son’s death.
“The conspiracy to commit murder and the conspiracy to commit grand theft are two separate conspiracies,” Thomas continued. “We believe it would be confusing to a jury to be able to figure out what elements were met, when the elements were met and to what extent the elements were met.”
The prosecution, meanwhile, argued that the charges were not confusing at all.
“One was to murder Tylee Ryan and to steal the social security money that was allotted to her, and one was to kill JJ Vallow and steal and collect the social security funds that were allotted to him,” Prosecutor Rob Wood said. “We believe the jury will find that there was this agreement, that they agreed to commit these two crimes.”
Judge Steven Boyce said he would consider the arguments and make a decision later.
Vallow’s children disappeared in 2019 and the couple never reported them missing and declined to help detectives in their investigation once extended family members reported that the children had not been seen in months.
The couple fled to Hawaii where they were arrested in connection with the children’s disappearance.
The burned bodies of both kids were eventually found in a makeshift grave near Vallow’s home in rural Idaho.
Lawyers for the “cult mom”, who has pleaded not guilty, argued that she was mentally unfit for trial — but she was deemed competent to stand trial on the charges against her after spending 11 months in a mental hospital.
Vallow and her husband married just two weeks after Chad Daybell’s ex-wife died unexpectedly. While the death was reportedly from natural causes, the body was later exhumed by investigators.
Vallow is additionally charged with conspiring to murder her fourth husband, Charles Vallow, who was allegedly shot and killed in Arizona by her brother, Alex Cox. Cox later died of natural causes.
With Post Wires