Judge sets trial date for Chad Daybell in deaths of his wife's children

Chad Daybell, Lori Vallow Daybell's husband, walks into court on Feb. 21, 2020, for his wife's hearing on child abandonment and other charges in Lihue, Hawaii. A judge on Wednesday set a November trial date for Chad Daybell on charges of murder and conspiracy.

Chad Daybell, Lori Vallow Daybell's husband, walks into court on Feb. 21, 2020, for his wife's hearing on child abandonment and other charges in Lihue, Hawaii. A judge on Wednesday set a November trial date for Chad Daybell on charges of murder and conspiracy. (Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island via AP)



SALT LAKE CITY — A judge in Idaho has scheduled a murder trial for Chad Daybell in the death of his wife's two kids and that of his former spouse.

Judge Steven Boyce on Wednesday set the five-week trial to begin Nov. 8 in Fremont County's 7th District Court.

Chad Daybell was not present for the Wednesday hearing held over videoconference. He has pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and conspiracy in the deaths of Joshua "JJ" Vallow, Tylee Ryan and Tammy Daybell.

Earlier this month, Boyce issued an order committing Daybell's wife, Lori Vallow Daybell, to a psychiatric facility for 90 days. A mental health evaluation had determined she is not competent, meaning she cannot properly assist in her own defense or fully understand the case tied to the disappearance of her two children, who vanished in 2019.

Her son JJ was 7 at the time he vanished in 2019, and his older sister was just a few weeks shy of her 17th birthday.

A grand jury indicted the Daybells on murder charges on May 25 in a case involving their reported doomsday religious beliefs and the mysterious deaths of their former spouses. The couple wed about two weeks after Tammy Daybell's death.

Investigators uncovered the remains of the two Idaho children at Chad Daybell's Salem property in June 2020.

Chad Daybell is charged with three counts each of first-degree murder and conspiring to commit murder and grand theft by deception, in addition to two counts of insurance fraud tied to life insurance policies for Tammy Daybell.

Prosecutors haven't said whether they'll seek the death penalty if he's convicted. A pretrial conference is set for Sept. 29.

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