Jury selection wraps up ahead of murder trial for doomsday stepdad Chad Daybell

ByNate Eaton
Tuesday, April 9, 2024
Chad Daybell trial: What's at stake and what's next for doomsday stepdad
Jury selection begins in Chad Daybell trial as he faces murder charges in deaths of wife's children

BOISE, Idaho -- A jury has been selected and opening statements will be held Wednesday morning in the Chad Daybell "doomsdad stepdad" murder case

A total of 18 people - 12 jurors and six alternates - will serve on the jury. The pool consists of 10 men and eight women from Ada County in Idaho.

Jury selection was held last week as groups of 16 were brought into the courtroom for voir dire, a French term which means "to speak the truth."

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Jury selection begins in Chad Daybell trial as he faces murder charges in deaths of wife's children

The potential jurors were asked questions by District Judge Steven Boyce, Daybell's defense attorney John Prior, and members of the prosecution team, which includes Fremont County Prosecuting Attorney Lindsey Blake, Madison County Prosecuting Attorney Rob Wood, Special Attorney General Prosecutor Ingrid Batey and Fremont County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Rocky Wixom.

Several potential jurors were eliminated based on financial hardship, knowledge of the case or other reasons. By Monday morning, 50 people were chosen for the final jury pool. The defense and prosecutors each chose 16 potential jurors to eliminate. The remaining men and women were told they will be on the jury.

Daybell, who married Lori Vallow two weeks after his wife Tammy Daybell died in October 2019, is charged with conspiracy to commit murder and first-degree murder in relation to the deaths of Tammy and two of Vallow's kids - 7-year-old Joshua "JJ" Vallow and 16-year-old Tylee Ryan. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Vallow was found guilty following a six week trial last spring. She is serving three life sentences without the possibility of parole in Idaho and is currently in an Arizona jail on charges of conspiracy to commit murder.

Wearing dress shirts and pants, Daybell sat stone-faced and showed little emotion during jury selection. He occasionally took notes, sorted through paperwork and whispered with Prior.

Opening statements are scheduled for Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. Witnesses will then be called and the trial is expected to last 8-10 weeks. EastIdahoNews.com is streaming the proceedings on our YouTube channel and providing live written updates from the courtroom each day of the trial.

If convicted, Daybell could face the death penalty.

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