Chad Daybell’s attorney asks to move trial from Fremont County

Chad Daybell enters the courtroom during his preliminary hearing in Fremont County on Monday, August 3, 2020. Daybell is being charged with destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence and conspiracy to commit destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence, both felony charges. The remains of Lori Vallow Daybell's two children were found on Chad Daybell's property. (Post Register/ John Roark, POOL)

(John Roark, Post Register, POOL)

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ST. ANTHONY — The defense attorney for Chad Daybell is asking the trial be moved from Fremont County because “a fair and impartial jury” can not be found.

In the motion filed Friday, John Prior says he will support his claims in forthcoming papers, pleadings and memorandums. Prior is asking that oral arguments be held in regard to changing the venue. He does not give suggestions as to where he thinks the trial should be moved.

Prior has hinted at moving locations in the past. Last month, three people in Fremont County told that a woman approached them and said she had been hired by a Boise firm to conduct surveys about the case.

The woman asked if they had heard of the Daybells, if they thought Chad and his wife, Lori Vallow Daybell, were guilty and if anything might change their minds during a trial.

Daybell pleaded not guilty last month to two felony counts of conspiracy to commit destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence, and two felony counts of destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence.

Police arrested Daybell on June 9, after the remains Joshua “JJ” Vallow, 7, and Tylee Ryan, 16, were found on his property. Daybell married the children’s mother, Lori, in November – two months after investigators say they were last seen.


Lori Daybell is also charged in Fremont County with two felony counts of conspiracy to commit destruction, alteration, or concealment of evidence. She is scheduled to be arraigned on Sept. 10 before District Judge Dane H. Watkins Jr.

Earlier this week, Special Prosecutor Rob Wood has asked District Judges Dane Watkins Jr. and Steven Boyce to combine the cases. In court documents, Wood says the cases should be joined based on the fact that charges against the Daybells allege they participated and or conspired in an act or series of actions.

Prior also asked on Aug. 27 that Boyce drop the charges, saying that Wood did not present enough evidence at a preliminary hearing to point the finger at Chad.

A jury trial for Chad is set to run from Jan. 11 to 29 in Fremont County.

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