Lori Daybell Vallow Sentenced to Life in Prison With No Possibility of Parole

Inside Edition
Inside Edition

Idaho "doomsday mom" Lori Vallow Daybell on Monday was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole in the murders of two of her children and for conspiring to murder her fifth husband's first wife. 

Idaho "doomsday mom" Lori Vallow Daybell on Monday was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole in the murders of two of her children and for conspiring to murder her fifth husband's first wife. 

“It is somewhat incredible in this case, seeing you have gone from no criminal history in your life to first-degree murder charges and additional counts in another state," Judge Steven Boyce said before handing down the sentence. 

The sentences imposed in the deaths of her children, Tylee Ryan and Joshua "JJ"  Vallow, and her husband's first wife, Tammy Daybell, are to run consecutively. She was also sentenced to five years fixed, and five years indeterminate for the grand theft charge and was ordered to pay fines in connection to several charges as well. 

“Tammy Daybell was murdered as a result of your conspiracy," Boyce said. "She was by all accounts a happy, healthy mother and wife and you were out shopping for wedding rings to marry her husband while she was still alive. You were planning a wedding. You haven’t shown any remorse for any of your actions. 

“JJ and Tylee’s lives were cut way too short because of you...It is a loss for everyone that you took them away from this world," he continued. "It is the most shocking things I can imagine, that a mother killed their own children and you simply have no remorse for it. There is no remorse for what you did.

“You may not believe to this day that you’ve done anything wrong, but I don’t believe a God in any religion would want to have this happened what happened here," Boyce said. 

The 2019 disappearance of Tylee and JJ led to a nationwide search for the 16-year-old girl and 7-year-old boy before their bodies were found on Vallow Daybell's fifth husband Chad Daybell's Idaho property months later.  

Tammy Daybell, Chad Daybell's previous wife, was 49 when she was found dead at her home in October 2019. Chad and Lori married weeks later. The killings were carried out partly because of the "cult-like" beliefs she and her husband shared, as well as to collect Tammy’s life insurance money and the children’s social security and survivor benefits, prosecutors said.

Chad Daybell also faces first-degree murder and conspiracy charges in Idaho for the deaths Tammy, Tylee and JJ. He waived his right to a speedy trial and is scheduled to be tried April 1, 2024. If found guilty, he faces the death penalty. He and Vallow Daybell were not allowed to meet or coordinate their defense.

He has pleaded not guilty to all the charges he faces and has denied all allegations of wrongdoing

Immediate family members of Tammy, Tylee and JJ testified at the hearing before Vallow Daybell, 50, was sentenced. 

"Tammy's death was unexpected and had a profound impact on all of us," Samantha Gwilliam, Tammy Daybell’s sister, said at the Fremont County Courthouse Monday as she read the statement she wrote about how Vallow Daybell's actions affected her and her family.

She tearfully recounted how her and Tammy's mother's last days were spent attending Vallow Daybell's trial, noting she believed the stress of the proceedings made worse her mother's 30-year battle with leukemia.

The death of Tammy meant her family lost a "beloved sister, mother, aunt and daughter," as well as grandmother, Gwilliam said. 

"You are a liar, an adulteress and a murderer," she said to Vallow Daybell. "I miss my sister every day. I will grieve her and the loss of my mother for the rest of my life. As for you, I choose to forget you. And as I leave this courtroom today, I choose to never think of you again.”

Vicki Hoban, Tammy's aunt, spoke of the life her niece could have led had she not been killed, and of all that was lost the night she was slain. 

"Never will she whisper a joke with a friend and laugh, never see another sunrise or sunset. Never smell fresh rain or see her grandchildren stomp through a mud puddle. Never to hear being called grandma or mom," she tearfully said. "Her life was snuffed out."

Hoban also spoke of the "cruel irony" that her granddaughter was Tylee's good friend. "This friend group cannot speak of Tylee freely," she said. "The grief is still overwhelming." 

Vallow Daybell's eldest son and only surviving child, Colby Ryan, was not present at his mother's sentencing but instead submitted a statement to be read to the court. 

"My children will never know their uncle, their aunt, or even their own grandmother," Ryan's statement began. "Tylee will never have the life she deserved. My girls will never have a chance to know them in this life."

He spoke of his sister, brother and father's memorable qualities, noting he wanted "them to be remembered for who they were, and not just be a spectacle to the world.”

"This has affected me personally more than I can ever possibly put into words," Ryan said in his statement. "I've lost my entire family in life. I lost the opportunity to share life with the people I love the most. I've watched everything crumble and be shredded to pieces. I have lost my sister, brother, father and my mother. I've lost cousins and family, friends and everything in between."

JJ Vallow's grandmother Kay Woodcock tearfully recalled raising him in the months following his birth and getting to watch how Tylee doted on her little brother. 

"She doted on him and JJ loved every minute of attention she got from his big sister," she said. 

"The joy he exuded and shared could not be measured," she said. "I never got enough of him. Now I've had all I will get for the rest of my life... because his mother is greedy and his life was expendable to her.

"The grief my family and I have endured is immeasurable," she continued. "Lori's undeniably a monster...  Lori Cox Daybell is a danger to society."

Kay and JJ's grandfather, Larry Woodcock, had held out hope the children would be found alive, even as months went by without any signs of the pair. 

"Every morning and every night and every day, I say my prayer for there to be a positive ending to this," Larry Woodcock told Inside Edition Digital in 2020. "These kids are two good kids and they don't deserve this, and I can't believe and I won't believe that somebody would hurt these kids. I pray not."

Vallow Daybell faced 10 years to life in prison on the first-degree murder charges. 

The State recommended a fixed life sentence for Vallow Daybell in the murders of Tylee, JJ and Tammy. They also asked for a 20-year sentence for the grand theft charge. Special Prosecutor Rob Wood asked that a few of the murder counts run consecutively and the others concurrently. He also asked for restitution in the amount of $22,500 to the U.S. Department of Treasury and $250,000 in total fines for the five murder charges. 

"This defendant has proven by her actions that she is dangerous to society. In Idaho alone, she was involved in three murders within the space of six weeks," Wood said. "The court can acknowledge she faces two charges of conspiracy to commit murder in Maricopa County. This defendant violated the most sacred trust that exists in society and she did it for gain. She did it for money. A defendant who is willing to murder her own children is willing to murder anyone.”

Vallow Daybell's attorney, John Thomas, requested the court sentence her to a 20-year fixed term with an indeterminate term of life. "If we give her a fixed term, we protect her from society until her 70s and she helps other inmates and becomes a better person," he said. 

Vallow Daybell, who did not take the stand in her own defense and pleaded not guilty to the charges she faced, did speak at her sentencing. She began by quoting the Bible, saying, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast the stone.”

“Jesus knows me. and Jesus Understands me. I mourn with all of you who mourn my children and Tammy. Jesus Christ knows the truth," she said. "Jesus Christ knows no one was murdered in this case. Accidental deaths happened. Suicides happened. Fatal side effects of medications happened.”

After telling the court that she died briefly while in labor with Tylee, Vallow Daybell said that because of that experience, she can communicate with Jesus and "those in spirit world," including her deceased children and Tammy. Saying she knows all three are "very happy" and "extremely busy," she said Tylee is "free now from all the pains of her life," that JJ is an adult spirit with jobs to do and that Tammy is her "eternal" and "wonderful" friend who has visited her on "several occasions."

Before sentencing Vallow Daybell, Judge Boyce said the factors he considered in handing down a sentence included the likelihood to re-offend, time served and her life story. He also noted he considered Vallow Daybell's mental health. "You do have mental health issues. I've dealt with those throughout the context of this case," he said, noting that she has been diagnosed with mental disorders, including delusion disorder with hyper religiosity and personality disorder, and that her own family has said she is not the person they knew. He noted that it appeared the "relationship" with her codefendant appeared to be the "catalyst" for the change in her. 

"You've been convicted of and committed the more serious crimes possible and those crimes deserve the most serious punishment," he said. 

"You had so many other options," Boyce said. But instead, he said, Vallow Daybell chose to bring her children to his community, where she isolated them, gave away JJ's service dog, saw them killed and buried like animals, and then financially profited from their deaths, using the "blood money" from her children's death to finance a new life in Hawaii. 

“You came here... where I’ve spent my life and came here from somewhere else to make your children disappear. You removed your children, alienated them from friends and family. You moved to Rexburg — a community where you could find 1,000 random families to take your children — and you brought them here to murder them," Boyce said. "You had so many other options. You chose the most evil and destructive path possible. You killed those children to remove them as obstacles and profit financially. You justified all this to go down a bizarre religious rabbit hole and clearly you are still there.”

Vallow Daybell has the right to appeal to the Idaho Supreme Court within 42 days.

Vallow Daybell faces separate charges for conspiring to commit murder in the July 2019 death of her husband, Charles Vallow, who was shot by her brother Alex Cox. Cox said he shot Vallow in self-defense. He was not charged in the shooting. He was pronounced dead after being found unresponsive at home on Dec. 12, 2019. His death came after Tylee and JJ had been reported missing but before their bodies were found. 

She has also been charged in Arizona for conspiracy for the 2019 attempted shooting of Brandon Boudreaux, who was married to her niece. 

"On October 2nd on my way home from the gym someone sat outside my home and shot a gun at me they hit my vehicle and missed my head by inches. I have reason to believe that this was related to all of the following events," Brandon Boudreaux wrote on Facebook that December. 

Rich Robertson, an Arizona-based private investigator with R3 Investigations, told Inside Edition Digital in 2020 that he met with Boudreaux after the alleged incident. 

"He was so anxious that we actually met in my office on a Sunday morning and he told me this wild tale of killing and missing people and religious cults and that he had been the victim of a drive-by shooting," Robertson said.

Boudreaux testified in the Idaho trial.

The Maricopa County Attorney's Office told CBS News in May it would begin extradition proceedings following Vallow Daybell's sentencing in Idaho.

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