FREMONT COUNTY, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) – Judge Steven Boyce ruled to join both Chad Daybell and his wife’s Lori Vallow Daybell’s cases together Thursday.
Prosecutor Rob Wood argued two separate trials would mean more hearings, more media coverage and more difficulty in finding a suitable jury.
Daybell’s attorney John Prior argued joining the cases would not give Daybell an opportunity to fairly display his case.
Daybell is charged with concealing evidence by destroying or hiding the bodies of 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow and 17-year-old Tylee Ryan at his eastern Idaho home. Investigators found their remains during a search in June, months after the kids were last seen in September.
Vallow-Daybell is currently being held on $1 million bond on two felony counts of conspiracy to alter or destroy evidence in connection with the deaths of her two children.
Judge Boyce said he took both arguments into consideration and added that during the circumstances right now with COVID-19 restrictions and the difficulties of even getting a jury trial at this point is concerning.
He said he does not find the prejudice at this point has been demonstrated that would be sufficient to prevent him from joining the cases.
Judge Boyce said his ruling does not forgo the possibility of a future motion for severance if prejudice is demonstrated.
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