After nearly five weeks of testimony from 60 witnesses, both the State and the Defense rested their cases in the Lori Vallow Daybell trial Tuesday.
The State tied off its case against Vallow Daybell with testimony from former FBI Agent Doug Hart, FBI Tactical Specialist Nicole Heideman and Idaho Attorney General Lead Investigator Nicholas Edwards. Their testimonies mainly pertained to messages exchanged between Vallow Daybell, Chad Daybell and other individuals involved in the case. Law enforcement retrieved the messages from iCloud accounts that belonged to Vallow Daybell.
Hart and Heideman read several conversations in which Daybell and Vallow Daybell expressed intimate feelings for each other, frustration with their physical separation from each other and anticipation that they soon would be together.
“Every few weeks I get to escape and have amazing adventures with my Goddess lover, but then I have to return to my place under the stairs, feeling trapped. But I sense permanent freedom is coming!” Daybell said in a message to Vallow Daybell on July 28, 2019.
Involved in a yearlong affair, Daybell and Vallow Daybell began their relationship in October 2018. They met at a “Preparing a People” conference in St. George, Utah. At the time they were married to Tammy Daybell and Charles Vallow, respectively.
Charles Vallow was shot to death by Vallow Daybell’s brother, Alex Cox, in July 2019 while Tammy Daybell died of asphyxia in October later that year. Both deaths were later ruled homicides with Vallow Daybell charged for both of their deaths along with the murders of two of her children, JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan.
Hart testified that their messages indicated that Daybell and Vallow Daybell not only saw their spouses as obstacles to their relationship but also JJ and Tylee.
In the time leading up to the victims’ deaths, Chad and Lori Daybell frequently discussed the levels or percentages at which their alleged victims were “dark.” Hart testified that the closer an individual was to 0 or 100, the closer they were to death or the point at which their bodies purportedly became completely possessed by dark spirits.
On July 18, 2019, two months before authorities say she was killed, Daybell told Vallow Daybell that Tylee’s percentage was 0.13. In the texts they call the spirit that possessed her Hillary.
Before the State rested its case, the prosecutors successfully motioned Judge Steven Boyce to amend Vallow Daybell’s 2021 indictment, changing her charge of grand theft with intent to deprive another to grand theft with deception.
The Defense provided no witnesses and rested its case in less than an hour.
“We don’t believe the state has proved its case so the defense will rest,” said Vallow Daybell’s attorney, Jim Archibald.
Archibald told the Court that after consulting with Vallow Daybell, she would not testify. She confirmed to Judge Boyce that it was her decision to not testify.
The jury will hear closing arguments Thursday.