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Chad Daybell is found guilty in triple murder trial and now faces death penalty: ‘Doomsday prophet’ conspired with Lori Vallow to kill her two young children and his first wife

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  • Lori Vallow, Daybell’s wife, was also found guilty & given a life sentence in prison 
  • Daybell was charged with first degree murder for the killings
  • He may be sentenced to the death penalty 

Chad Daybell was found guilty of killing his ex-wife and two children in a case that rattled the state of Idaho.

The jury reached the verdict Thursday in the bizarre and horrifying case of the doomsday author who was charged with murdering his ex-wife and his wife’s two youngest children.

The verdict arrives at the end of a nearly two-month trial for Daybell, 55, who was accused of killing Tammy Daybell, Joshua ‘JJ’ Vallow, 7, and Tylee Ryan, 16.

During the summer of 2020, the remains of the children were discovered on Daybell’s Fremont County, Idaho property.

Police said they believe the bodies were buried by Daybell sometime between September of 2019 and June of 2020.

The jury reached the verdict Thursday in the bizarre and horrifying case of the doomsday author (pictured) who was charged with murdering his ex-wife and her two youngest children

The jury reached the verdict Thursday in the bizarre and horrifying case of the doomsday author (pictured) who was charged with murdering his ex-wife and her two youngest children 

Last year, Lori Vallow Daybell, pictured here in February 2024, the mother of the deceased children, received a life sentence without parole for the killings

Last year, Lori Vallow Daybell, pictured here in February 2024, the mother of the deceased children, received a life sentence without parole for the killings 

Tammy Daybell died in 2019, mere weeks ahead of Chad and Lori Vallow’s wedding.

Though her death was initially believed to be due to natural causes, her corpse was later exhumed and following an autopsy, it was determined that she had been suffocated to death.

Daybell and Lori Vallow were indicted in 2021 on charges of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, and grand theft by deception in the children’s deaths.

The pair were slapped with a handful of additional charges relating to Tammy’s death.

Last year, Vallow was convicted and handed a sentence of multiple life sentences behind bars without the possibility of parole.

During his trial, Daybell was accused of crafting an alternate reality so that he could fulfill ‘his desire for sex, money and power.’ 

‘When he had a chance at what he considered his rightful destiny, he made sure no person and no law would stand in his way,’ prosecutor Rob Wood said.

Prosecutors say the couple justified the three killings by creating a detailed and apocalyptic belief system, part of an elaborate scheme to eliminate any obstacles to their relationship and to obtain money from survivor benefits and life insurance.

Daybell’s defense attorney John Prior presented a different picture to jurors – noting that Chad Daybell was a religious person but suggesting that his belief in things like premonitions were fairly mainstream. 

Prior also explained to jurors that Lori Vallow Daybell’s brother, Alex Cox, had a violent history. He had previously been convicted of attacking Vallow Daybell’s third husband, and he shot and killed her fourth husband.

‘Whenever there was a problem with Lori Vallow, Alex Cox ran to the rescue,’ Prior said in opening statements.

Daybell’s attorney also argued that his client lived a normal, faith-focused life before he met Lori Vallow Daybell, who he said showered Daybell with attention. 

His legal team described her as a ‘beautiful, vivacious person’ who drew Daybell into an extramarital relationship.

Daybell’s attorney also said he would present several experts in DNA, forensics and pathology who would testify that it’s impossible to determine what caused Tammy Daybell’s death and that none of Chad Daybell’s DNA was found with the children’s bodies. 



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