Lori Vallow Daybell a 'Model Inmate,' Attorney Argues in Successful Bid to Lower $1 Million Bond
The prosecutor in the case, Rob Wood, argued that Lori committed the misdemeanors to conceal the fact that JJ and Tylee were dead even as investigators and their extended families continued to look for them.
The attorney for Lori Vallow Daybell, the mother of two children who were found buried on her husband's property, called her a "model inmate" whose "access to funds is extremely limited" during a hearing Friday.
Lori's attorney, Mark Means, argued Friday that Lori's bond should be reduced from $1 million after two felony charges of deserting a minor child were dropped. The charges stemmed from the disappearance of Lori's two children, Joshua "JJ" Vallow and Tylee Ryan, whose remains were found on June 9, nine months after they were last seen.
Lori never reported the children missing, according to police, and lied to officers about their whereabouts. She faces misdemeanor charges of resisting and obstructing an officer, solicitation of a crime and contempt in Madison County, Idaho.
"My client has been a model inmate. These charges are not of a violent nature, there is no previous criminal record regarding my client in any other jurisdiction that we're aware of. Her access to funds is extremely limited," Means said during Friday's hearing, which was held via Zoom amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Means argued that the maximum penalty for the three misdemeanor charges only amounted to two years in prison and a $2,500 fine. But the prosecutor in the case, Rob Wood, argued that Lori committed the misdemeanors to conceal the fact that JJ and Tylee were dead even as investigators and their extended families continued to look for them.
"I just point out, your honor, when the defendant obstructed the investigation into the safety and welfare of JJ Vallow, she was hiding the location of her dead child," Wood said. "When she attempted to get Melanie Gibb to lie to the police on her behalf, she was attempting to get Ms. Gibb to lie about the location of her dead child. And when she refused to comply with a lawful order to produce her children, she did so in an effort to conceal the deaths of her minor children, all while telling family and friends that they were fine."
This is the third time Lori has asked the judge in Madison County to reduce her bond, and Wood pointed out that during the last two hearings, Lori and her attorney argued over lesser matters when she knew JJ and Tylee were already dead.
"The last time we had a discussion of bail in this case, we were arguing about jail phone calls while the defendant's children were dead. And I — the state — finds that very troubling," Wood said.
Judge Michelle Radford Mallard reduced Lori's bond to $50,000 per misdemeanor charge, for a total of $150,000.
"If Ms. Daybell does post bond, I'm adding an additional condition to her release that she have no contact whatsoever with her alleged co-conspirators," Mallard said, referring to Lori's husband, Chad.
Chad is being held on $1 million bond in Fremont County after being charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence, as well as two felony charges of willfully destroying, concealing or altering evidence after JJ and Tylee's remains were found in his yard.
Lori has also been charged with two felony counts of conspiracy to commit destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence in Fremont County. Even if she were able to post bond in Madison County, Lori is still being held on $1 million bond on those felony charges.
Both Chad and Lori have pleaded not guilty and deny all allegations of wrongdoing. Neither Lori's attorney, Mark Means, nor Chad's attorney, John Prior, responded to Inside Edition Digital's requests for comment.
Separately, Lori and Chad are currently under investigation by the Idaho Attorney General's office for "conspiracy, attempted murder and/or murder" in the death of Chad's first wife, Tammy, who died weeks before the couple married.
Lori remains a "person of interest" in the investigation into the death of her fourth husband, Charles Vallow, in Arizona, according to the Chandler Police Department.
Chad and Lori will both appear in court in Fremont County in person in August for their preliminary hearings.
The Rexburg Police Department asks anyone with information regarding the case to contact them at 208-359-3000.
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