'Doomsday Mom' Guilty in 3 Murders

Lori Vallow Daybell convicted in Idaho of murdering two of her children, conspiring in killing of husband's first wife
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted May 12, 2023 2:32 PM CDT
'Doomsday Mom' Guilty in 3 Murders
Lori Vallow Daybell sits in a police car after a hearing at the Fremont County Courthouse in St. Anthony, Idaho, on Aug. 16, 2022.   (Tony Blakeslee/East Idaho News via AP, Pool, File)

A jury in Idaho has convicted Lori Vallow Daybell—the so-called "doomsday mom"—of murdering her two youngest children. She also was convicted of conspiring in the murder of Tammy Daybell, her husband's first wife, reports CNN. Husband Chad Daybell is accused in the murders as well, and he will be tried separately. Vallow Daybell's youngest children, 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow and 16-year-old Tylee Ryan, were killed in 2019 and their remains were later found on Chad Daybell's property. Tammy Daybell died unexpectedly that same year, and the accused couple were married just two weeks later. They reportedly held fringe religious beliefs about a coming doomsday (hence her nickname), and prosecutors say they referred to the two young victims as "zombies."

The AP summary of the trial: "Prosecutors in the case described Vallow Daybell as a power-hungry manipulator who would kill her two youngest children for money, while the defense team said she was normally protective mother who fell under the romantic sway of a wannabe cult leader." The latter refers to her husband. Jurors began deliberations on Thursday after a seven-week trial. Vallow Daybell showed little reaction as the verdicts were read, remaining silent, per NBC News. Relatives of the victims "reacted with tears, sighs of relief and a fist pump," per CBS.

"We want to assure each of you that we remain committed to pursuing justice for Tylee Ryan, JJ Vallow, and Tammy Daybell," said prosecutors Rob Wood and Lindsey Blake in a statement. They added they were pleased with the verdict but declined to elaborate because of the pending case against Chad Daybell. Vallow Daybell faces life in prison at her sentencing, which won't happen for at least three months. Prosecutors say Vallow Daybell's brother, Alex Cox, helped with the killings, though he died in 2019 before he could be charged. (More Lori Vallow stories.)

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