BOISE, Idaho (ABC4) — On the 12th day of Lori Vallow Daybell’s murder trial, Charles’ death is discussed in detail by several witnesses.
Scott Cowden, a firefighter and paramedic with the Chandler, Arizona, Fire Department was called to the stand to testify by prosecuting attorney Lindsey Blake. Lori’s attorney, Jim Archibald, objected to having the witness questioned as “Lori is not on trial for anything that happened in Arizona,” but Judge Steven Boyce overruled the objection.
Daybell, Vallow complete timeline in alleged murders
Lori’s husband, Charles Vallow, was shot on July 11, 2019, by Alex Cox, her brother in Arizona. Cox called 911 and told officers he shot Charles in self-defense and performed CPR on him. When Cowden arrived at the scene, he found Charles lying on his back unconscious in the front room. After Cowden assessed Charles’ body, he began CPR.
“We were led to believe CPR had started prior to our arrival […] We were led to believe the caller, the shooter, had started CPR,” Cowden said, adding that when he started his impressions, he felt a “crunch” or “crack,” likely the cracking of a sternum or rib. Cowden said if someone had performed CPR before him, he would not have expected to feel that “crunch.”
Cowden said if CPR had been performed before he arrived, there would have been injuries or an impression on Charles’ chest, but he did not see that. And when Cowden stopped CPR, there was blood on his gloves, which means whoever performed CPR on Charles would have had blood on their hands.
Detective Ariel Werther with the Chandler Police Department was then called to the stand to testify. Werther has been with the robbery/homicide unit in Chandler, Arizona, since 2020 and responded to the scene where Charles had been shot.
The initial 911 call came in at 8:36 a.m. on July 11, 2019. When police arrived at Charles’ house, they said they never saw his phone, and it was not recovered on his body. Lori allegedly took it with her that day.
On July 12, Werther was assigned to call Lori to obtain information about JJ on the day of the shooting. Lori told Werther she took JJ to school after the shooting, stopping for Burger King on the way.
Werther obtained surveillance video from Burger King, where Lori’s vehicle was clocked at the drive-thru at 7:54 a.m., over 30 minutes before police were notified of a shooting. The video showed Lori, and presumably, Tylee sitting in the passenger seat. Lori also stopped at Walgreens around 8:15 a.m. before dropping JJ at school around 8:30 a.m. Lori did not mention Walgreens in her original interview.
Werther said they found out about Walgreens after receiving information that Lori stopped at a CVS to get JJ flip-flops before school. After reviewing footage from CVS, Werther said he was unable to find a video of Lori at CVS. Sometime later, Lori turned over Charles’ phone to the Chandler Police Department. The GPS data on his phone showed stops at Walgreens, Burger King, and then JJ’s school.
Werther was released from the stand, and Detective Sandra Ynclan with the Chandler Police Department was called up. Ynclan also responded to the scene on July 11 after Cox told police there was a shooting.
When Ynclan first observed Lori and Tylee, she said they were standing near Charles’ rental car. “[Lori appeared calm, very non-emotional, was kind of hanging out and having general conversations,” Ynclan said. “She was really not upset, and at one point she was laughing.”
Ynclan said she went over to chat with Lori and Tylee and directed them to the care and crisis response unit. Ynclan said she learned Lori was the wife of the victim and sister of the shooter.
Ynclan said she was next to Lori when they were informed that Charles was dead.
“She didn’t have much of a reaction. When she was informed that Charles was deceased, she responded that she already knew and made statements that she was present when it happened,” Ynclan said. “This was new information to detectives.”
Lori and Tylee were driven back to the police station for follow-up interviews with Ynclan. Ynclan said police try not to talk on the way to the police station to preserve information for interviews. During the drive, Ynclan said Lori seemed calm and not upset, she spoke to Tylee about school and her future plans.
“She was almost nonchalant about the conversation,” Ynclan said.
During the interview, Lori told Ynclan that Charles had been renting the home and that they were separated. Lori said that Charles was previously living in Houston, and at one point even took JJ with him. Lori said she went to live out there but returned to Arizona. Most of this information lines up with the timeline ABC4 has compiled.
However, Lori failed to mention her 58-day hiatus from Charles and JJ. It was during that time Charles’ moved from Arizona to Texas with JJ. Lori also told Ynclan about JJ’s special needs care, his services plan, and everything involved to take care of him. Lori said Charles didn’t have that support for JJ when they lived in Houston.
Lori then explained what allegedly happened that morning when Charles died. She said Charles came to the house to pick up JJ for school and arrived a few minutes late. Lori described JJ as “reluctant” to leave for school, but ready nonetheless. Lori said Charles and JJ left the house, but that Charles forgot his phone and came back in to retrieve it.
Lori said when Charles came inside, she was holding the phone, and Charles was very upset with her. She said that she made “statements to him about messages on the phone,” and Charles became angry. Lori said she was moving around the kitchen in order to keep Charles’ phone in her possession when Tylee came into the room holding a bat. She said Tylee was “prodding” at Charles in order to defend Lori. Charles then allegedly took the bat from Tylee and was “extremely angry.”
That’s when Alex came to intercede, Lori claimed. Alex allegedly grabbed Charles and pulled him backward and Lori said they started a physical altercation. Lori reportedly told Tylee to go outside where JJ was. Lori said she then moved away from the fight, into the kitchen out of view. Lori said she heard a gunshot and went into the front room, and then allegedly saw Charles on the floor.
Lori said she went outside where JJ and Tylee were, and they got in the car to take JJ to school. After they left to take JJ to school, Lori said that Cox called her, and she told Cox he needed to call 911.
To read more about the Lori Vallow Daybell murder case, you can visit ABC4’s webpage dedicated to it.