Chad and Lori Daybell

EastIdahoNews

Daybell defense attorneys file motion regarding DNA testing

By Nate Eaton, EastIdahoNews | Posted - Apr. 23, 2021 at 6:26 p.m.



REXBURG, Idaho — The attorneys for Chad and Lori Vallow Daybell are requesting an expedited court hearing to discuss DNA testing being performed by law enforcement.

In a motion filed Thursday, John Prior, Chad Daybell's attorney, wrote that Rob Wood, the special prosecutor in the case, sent a message to Prior Wednesday stating Wood intends to have DNA testing done on samples obtained by police. Court documents do not provide details about when or where the samples were obtained, but the bodies of Joshua "JJ" Vallow and Tylee Ryan were discovered buried on Chad Daybell's property last June. Law enforcement has not yet released their remains to family members.

"(Wood) notified my office…that additional DNA testing would completely consume the remaining DNA evidence obtained by law enforcement. This would preclude the defense from seeking independent testing by their own expert," Prior wrote.

Prior asked the court to order the prosecution to do the following:

  • Not pursue any testing on remaining DNA samples until the defense can obtain half of all samples for their own testing.
  • Provide all records, reports and documentation related to testing that has already been performed.
  • Allow the defendant's DNA expert to go directly to any lab to review, copy, photograph and document procedures that will be done in the future or have been done in the past.
  • Provide to the defense any and all evidence related to DNA testing in the case.

Prior asked that Judge Steven Boyce schedule a hearing "to avoid the state moving on its intention to consume all DNA evidence prior to the defense having the opportunity to even review such evidence."

Mark Means, Lori Vallow Daybell's attorney, filed a motion joining Prior in his request.

Means included a letter sent to Prior from Wood asking for clarification on 30 items Prior says he has not received from the prosecutor.

"I have not received any specific information from you regarding what you are missing in the discovery from the State," Wood wrote." You did send two letters regarding discovery in the recent months, and we responded to those requests before our recent status conference. I would note that all the items requested in those letters had already been provided to you or have since been provided to you other than Tammy Daybell's autopsy report, which the Fremont County Prosecutor has not and will not provide to my office."

Tammy Daybell died in Fremont County so Prosecuting Attorney Lindsey Blake is overseeing that death investigation.

The expedited hearing on DNA has been scheduled for April 28.

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Nate Eaton

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