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Jury finds Lori Vallow Daybell guilty of all counts in murder trial

Kids Killed Doomsday Plot Trial
Posted at 2:18 PM, May 12, 2023

An Idaho jury has found Lori Vallow Daybell guilty on all counts, including two counts of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder.

The jury came to the unanimous decision after more than eight hours of deliberation over two days. Their duty was to decide beyond a reasonable doubt whether Vallow Daybell "engaged in conduct, or did aid, abet, advise, counsel, or procure another to engage in conduct which caused the death of" her two youngest children, 16-year-old Tylee Ryan and 7-year-old "J.J." Vallow, and of her fifth husband's previous wife, Tammy Daybell.

Vallow Daybell had pleaded not guilty to all charges against her, including grand theft by deception for allegedly pocketing her children’s Social Security benefits after their deaths.

Prosecutors aimed to prove the so-called 'Doomsday Cult Mom' and her husband planned the killings. An indictment accused the couple of espousing religious beliefs to justify the September 2019 murders of the two children and the October 2019 murder of Tammy Daybell.

Over the course of the five-week trial, prosecutors called 59 witnesses to the stand to testify about the brutal murders and a plan to commit them that they said was put into motion in October 2018, when the couple met at a conference.

During closing arguments, Vallow Daybell's attorney reminded the jury that the state had the burden of proof and must prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt, which he contended that they fell short of doing.

Attorney Jim Archibald pointed to Lori enrolling J.J. in school and her eldest son, Colby Ryan’s, testimony that she had previously been a good mother to emphasize that she had no plan and would never have killed her children.