ST. ANTHONY, Idaho (ABC4) — District Judge Steven Boyce made the weighty decision Thursday to sever Chad and Lori Daybell’s cases.
“I have to balance these rights of these defendants in this case,” Boyce said. “Severance is the only option I see.”
Lori and Chad Daybell were charged with multiple counts of first-degree murder, and conspiracy to commit murder. They allegedly murdered Lori’s children “JJ” Vallow, 7, and Tylee Ryan, 16, and Chad’s previous wife, Tammy Daybell.
According to information obtained at the pre-trial conferences by Nate Eaton of East Idaho News, Chad Daybell’s attorney, John Prior, is the one who urged District Judge Steven Boyce to separate the cases.
Prior, in a new hearing Thursday, said his concern was that they received new DNA evidence with too little time to complete additional testing.
“That evidence provides, at least from my perspective, an explanation potentially of where Mr. Daybell and I are going to go in this particular case,” said Prior. “I need to have an opportunity to test that evidence.”
Lori Daybell did not waive her right to a speedy trial, so she will be tried on April 3rd as previously scheduled.
“If my client waived her speedy trial, I would also be asking for extra time. But since she has held that right and held it close to her,” said Archibald. “I have to respect that constitutional autonomy that she has.”
With the Daybells case severance, Boyce said he doesn’t believe it will be a short delay to Chad’s Daybell’s trial. He said his trial date could be scheduled as far out as 6+ months from now.
Both Lori and Chad have pleaded not guilty to all of their charges.