Judge declares Lori Vallow Daybell indigent

Mark Means appears in court with Lori Vallow Daybell during a March 2020 hearing.

(John Roark, Pool photo)

ST. ANTHONY, Idaho — A district judge has declared Lori Vallow Daybell as indigent.

The single-sentence order came down from District Judge Steven Boyce on Friday, EastIdahoNews.com reported. Idaho law allows a judge to declare someone as indigent, meaning they have limited ability to pay for legal services such as a defense attorney or investigative or expert fees. A judge can determine this based on monthly income, whether a person is on public assistance or if they are serving a sentence in a correctional or mental facility.

In Idaho's court system people are sometimes declared indigent when seeking a public defender, but this does not seem to be in the case for Daybell.

Mark Means, her attorney, confirmed with EastIdahoNews.com that he will continue to represent Daybell.

She has been in custody at the Madison County Jail since being extradited from Hawaii in March 2020. She was arrested and pleaded not guilty to felonies related to the alterations, destruction and concealment of the bodies of 7-year-old Joshua "JJ" Vallow and 16-year-old Tylee Ryan, two of her children.

Her fifth husband, Chad Daybell, is facing similar charges and is being held in the Fremont County Jail. Investigators found the remains of the children buried in the backyard of Chad Daybell's Salem, Idaho home in June 2020.

The couple is also under investigation for the death of Chad's wife, Tammy. She died in her sleep in October 2019, just weeks after investigators believe JJ and Tylee were killed.

The couple is next scheduled for a status conference on June 9.

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Eric Grossarth


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