Testimony wraps up in Chad Daybell murder trial; closing arguments Wednesday

Cameras show four angles of the Ada County courtroom in Boise on Tuesday during Chad Daybell's murder trial. Jurors were excused after only a few hours of rebuttal witnesses, and closing arguments are expected to begin Wednesday.

Cameras show four angles of the Ada County courtroom in Boise on Tuesday during Chad Daybell's murder trial. Jurors were excused after only a few hours of rebuttal witnesses, and closing arguments are expected to begin Wednesday. (Judge Steven W. Boyce via YouTube.)

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BOISE — Jurors were excused after only a few hours of rebuttal witnesses Tuesday, and closing arguments are scheduled for Wednesday in the triple murder trial for Chad Daybell.

The three witnesses on Tuesday were called to contest testimony raised by defense witnesses last week.

Retired Rexburg police detective David Stubbs testified that email records from chad.daybell@gmail.com show a search on Jan. 3, 2019, for "how to turn off the location services" on an iPhone. Stubbs said he did not know if Daybell had an iPhone, but knew he did have an Android. He also said he knew Lori Vallow Daybell had an iPhone.

Stubbs said it is possible to have locations stop being traced and to have previous GPS data deleted — and Chad Daybell's Gmail account showed he had requested to have his data deleted. He testified that documents investigators received from a request on Daybell's Google account showed no location data at any time.

Throughout the trial, defense attorney John Prior has consistently pointed out that location data does not put Chad Daybell at his home around the time of any of the three killings. However, this testimony shows location data for him was limited.

KSL.com is streaming the trial each day.

Autopsy dispute

Dr. Erik Christensen, who was the chief medical examiner in Utah when he performed an autopsy on Tammy Daybell, Chad Daybell's wife, testified Tuesday that as a medical examiner, he tries to find as much information as possible to help figure out why someone died, including reviewing medical records.

He said Dr. Kathy Raven, a defense witness who testified Tammy Daybell's cause of death should be classified as "undetermined," did not have the medical records he reviewed before deciding the woman's cause of death. Christensen said it is possible he would have reached the same conclusion without the medical records.

"When you are dealing with multiple possible causes of death, you're looking for information that will help you either increase or decrease the likelihood of any one of those possibilities," Christensen said, referring to the purpose for requesting the medical records.

When Prior questioned Christensen, he pointed out that Christensen looked at information from law enforcement and medical records but had not talked to anyone in the Daybell family.

Response to Emma Murray's testimony

While she was testifying, Chad and Tammy Daybell's daughter, Emma Murray, said Rexburg police detective Ray Hermosillo had watched her at the gym and often drove past her home. Hermosillo testified Tuesday that he had seen Murray at the gym once but did not approach her or talk to her there.

He also said there were multiple reasons for him to drive past her home, which was kitty-corner from Chad Daybell's property, which was part of a "very active investigation." He said he also has family that lives north of the Daybell property and he owns a dry cleaning business a quarter-mile from the property.

Hermosillo said he drove by the Daybell property before and after the children's bodies were found — and said all three bodies involved in the trial were found at Chad Daybell's residence.

Boyce ruled that Tammy Daybell's former co-worker Janice Olsen, who has previously testified, would not be allowed to return to the stand Tuesday to say she had heard Tammy Daybell say that her husband wanted her to increase her life insurance before she retired.

Rocky Wixom, deputy Fremont County prosecutor, said in preparing her to testify prior to Tuesday she had added that the conversation was not just between her and Tammy Daybell but was with a group of people in a lunchroom.

The judge also determined this testimony could not be brought in during the prosecutor's main case, ruling at the time that it was hearsay. Murray's testimony about similar conversations could have led to this being ultimately admitted, but Boyce ruled not to allow it. He said Prior did not have a chance to question others present during that conversation because they did not know there was a group.

Daybell is charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of Lori Daybell's children — 7-year-old Joshua "JJ" Vallow and 16-year-old Tylee Ryan — and the death of his former wife. He is also charged with conspiracy to commit first-degree murder of each of the victims, grand theft and two counts of insurance fraud.

Boyce and the attorneys in the case will be reviewing jury instructions Tuesday afternoon. Some of these discussions will be held in the public courtroom.

Thursday's testimony:

Most recent Daybell case stories

Related topics

Daybell casePolice & CourtsUtahIdaho
Emily Ashcraft joined KSL.com as a reporter in 2021. She covers courts and legal affairs, as well as health, faith and religion news.


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