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Idaho man accused of killing first wife, 2 children who were called ‘zombies’

staticwire | April 1, 2024
KSAZ Chad Daybell Mugshot 032824

The trial of Chad Daybell, a man charged with the deaths of his wife and his girlfriend’s two youngest children, began this week with jury selection in Idaho. The 55-year-old self-published author is facing three counts of first-degree murder for the deaths of Tammy Daybell, 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow, and Tylee Ryan.

Tammy Daybell, JJ, and Tylee were all found dead in Chad Daybell’s eastern Idaho yard in the summer of 2020. The children’s mother, Lori Vallow Daybell, was found guilty last year and sentenced to life in prison without parole. The couple claimed they could tell if people had been possessed by dark spirits that could turn them into “zombies,” and believed that the only way to get rid of a zombie was to destroy the possessed person’s body by killing them.

Chad Daybell also faces charges of insurance fraud in connection with Tammy Daybell’s death and two counts of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and grand theft by deception in the children’s deaths. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.

The trial is expected to last up to 10 weeks, and jury selection began in Boise with Judge Steven Boyce reading the charges to potential jurors. Daybell has pleaded not guilty, and his attorney has stated that he is ready to go forward with the case and “wants to tell his story.”

The case began in the fall of 2019 when extended family members noticed that Lori Vallow’s two youngest children had disappeared. It was later revealed that Vallow and Chad Daybell were having an affair when both of their spouses died unexpectedly. Vallow’s husband was shot to death by her brother in Arizona in July 2019, and Tammy Daybell died in her sleep in November 2019.

The couple’s friends later told detectives that Vallow and Chad Daybell held unusual religious beliefs, including that they had been reincarnated and were tasked with gathering people before a biblical apocalypse. Prosecutors allege that the couple used these beliefs to justify the deaths of the children and Tammy Daybell as part of a scheme to eliminate obstacles to their relationship and obtain money from survivor benefits and life insurance.

The trial of Chad Daybell is expected to be a long and arduous process, with jury selection taking about a week. The judge has dismissed potential jurors who felt the time commitment would present undue hardship and asked others if they had already decided Daybell’s guilt or innocence or if they had any bias that might prevent them from being fair.

This case has drawn worldwide attention due to its bizarre and tragic circumstances, and the outcome of the trial will be closely watched by many. Stay tuned for more updates on this developing story.

Written by staticwire

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