Lori Vallow Daybell plead not guilty at arraignment

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Lori Vallow is escorted into the courtroom and to her attorney Craig De Costa Wednesday during a hearing asking for bail reduction in Fifth Circuit Court in Lihu‘e.

Lori Vallow Daybell entered a not guilty plea on two felony charges at her arraignment in the Seventh Judicial Court court of Idaho in Freemont, Idaho, Thursday morning.

Seventh Judicial District Court of Idaho Judge Dane Hansen Watkins, Jr. stated the two felonies charged were conspiracy to commit destruction, alteration, or concealment of evidence.

Watkins informed Daybell of her rights during the trial.

Daybell and her Idaho-based attorney Mark Means will have the right to confront witnesses, call their own witnesses, and summon and subpoena witnesses.

Means chose to waive the formal reading of the prosecuting attorney claiming that they’ve read and thoroughly understand the court documents presented by Rexburg Deputy Prosecuting attorney Mark Wood.

Daybell’s trial will begin April 2, 2021, with a pretrial conference on March 22.

Daybell remains in jail on a $1 million dollar bond.

The Kaua’i Connection

The Associated Press reported Daybell, a 46-year-old Idaho resident, a suspect in the disappearance of her two children, 17-year-old Tylee Ryan and 7-year-old Joshua “J.J.” Vallow.

Tylee was last seen in September of 2019, while entering Yellowstone National Park with family members including Lori, and JJ was last seen by school officials a few days later, according to the Associated Press story.

Authorities questioned the Daybells at their residence in Rexburg, in November of 2019, after JJ’s grandparents asked them to check on the children. After learning the Daybells initially lied to them, authorities returned the next day, only to find they had vanished.

In mid-February, Vallow Daybell was found to be staying on Kaua‘i with her new husband Chad Daybell, dodging a court order from Madison County, Idaho, to produce her children for authorities. Vallow missed the deadline for that court order on Jan. 30.

Both Daybell and her husband were later extradited to be prosecuted in Idaho.

The Kaua’i Police Department helped the Rexburg Police Dept. in locating Vallow and Daybell and supplied information after the couple was detained in Kaua’i.

The children were later found buried in her husband’s Idaho property in June.

A new twist

Eastidaho.com news published a story interviewing a local woman who spent time in Lori Vallow Daybell’s cell.

Choosing to remain anonymous for safety reasons, she identified herself as ‘Missy Cook.’

During a two-hour interview, Cook provided notes she kept while behind bars of alleged conversations she had with Vallow Daybell.

“Everybody in the jail was talking about how Lori was coming back from Hawai’i and we wondered if we’d be able to see her,” Cook told the Idaho news organization. “So I’m sitting in the pod and in walks two or three guards with her. They were very nice and she was nice. She walked in with her stripes on but she also had a bulletproof vest on. I had never seen another inmate like that.”

It is not known as of press time whether any of the information Cook provided to the press will be used in the prosecution of the case.


Jason Blasco, reporter, can be reached at 245-0437 or jblasco@thegardenisland.com.


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