Prosecutors want to keep Lori Daybell's former attorney from publicly talking about case

Lori Vallow Daybell's former attorney Mark Means.

Lori Vallow Daybell's former attorney Mark Means. (EastIdahoNews.com)



Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

ST. ANTHONY, Ida. — Prosecutors want a judge to ensure Lori Vallow Daybell and her former attorney Mark Means do not comment publicly on her case.

In the motion to clarify a protective order filed Dec. 29, Madison County Prosecutor Rob Wood and Fremont County Prosecutor Lindsey Blake asked District Judge Steven Boyce to prohibit public commentary and dissemination of discovery information by both Daybell and Means. The request came after Boyce disqualified Means from representing Daybell on the case.

"There is an ongoing concern that privileged information and documents could be disclosed to third parties and or the public," prosecutors wrote in their motion. "… Former Counsel Mark Means, without discussion with co-counsel Jim Archibald, filed motions publically discussing confidential information related to Lori Vallow."

A hearing on the matter is scheduled for Wednesday at 3 p.m. EastIdahoNews.com will livestream the proceedings.

When the grand jury indicted Lori Vallow Daybell in May, discovery information, such as police reports, evidence and witness details, were handed over to defense attorneys.

Prosecutors argue information included in the discovery is confidential, with sensitive documents that would be an invasion of people's privacy if released. Prosecutors noted confidential witness information could lead to safety concerns if details were made public.

"The public discussion of discovery, the defense theory of the matter or the statements of the defendant can cause irreparable harm to both parties when done outside the Rules of Professional Conduct," prosecutors wrote.

Prosecutors want the order prohibiting the disclosure of discovery to prevent Means from discussing the case without permission from Archibald or Boyce.

Means has not spoken publically since his removal from the case but did tweet a quote Monday attributed to John Adams, the second president of the United States.

"Counsel ought to be the very last thing that an accused person should want in a free country … That a persons whose lives were at stake ought to have the counsel they preferred," the tweet reads.

Lori Vallow Daybell and her husband Chad Daybell are charged with multiple crimes, including conspiracy to commit murder and first-degree murder. The charges are in relation to the deaths of 7-year-old Joshua "JJ" Vallow, 16-year-old Tylee Ryan — two of Lori's kids — and Chad's first wife, Tammy Daybell.

A trial is scheduled for the couple in January 2023, but Lori Vallow Daybell currently remains incompetent to assist in her own defense and is committed to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.

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Eric Grossarth

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