Prosecuting attorney Rob Wood is seen during Chad Daybell's 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, File

Hearing regarding Daybell prosecutor happening Wednesday morning

By Eric Grossarth, EastIdahoNews.com | Posted - Jan. 6, 2021 at 8:35 a.m.



ST. ANTHONY, Idaho — A judge will listen to arguments Wednesday morning from the attorneys of Chad and Lori Daybell as they request that special prosecutor Rob Wood be dismissed from the cases of their clients.

Lori's attorney, Marks Means, and Chad's attorney, John Prior, have accused Wood of prosecutorial misconduct. Prior and Wood requested that the hearing be closed to the public but Means argued to have it open and District Judge Steven Boyce agreed.

The parties will meet via Zoom at 9 a.m. It's not clear if the Daybells will appear.

The hearing deals with joint motions to disqualify Wood. In the motions, Means and Prior allege that the prosecutor tried to "coerce, unduly influence, coach, and or intimidate" Lori's sister, Summer Shiflet, during an October meeting in Arizona. Around the same time, Wood is alleged to have been inappropriately discussing the case with Lori's sister-in-law Zulema Pastenes. The accusations are in regards to audio recordings with both of the women that were given to the defense attorneys.

Wood has denied all of the allegations against him and requested an expedited hearing to clear up the situation. He affirmed Shiflet and Pastenes's own attorney was with them the entire time and no objections were made to the questioning.

The Daybells are charged with felonies related to the concealment, alteration and destruction of 7-year-old Joshua "JJ" Vallow and 16-year-old Tylee Ryan, Lori's two children. In June, investigators found their bodies buried on Chad's Salem property.

You can watch the hearing at 9 a.m. at EastIdahoNews.com.

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Eric Grossarth

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