Chad Daybell: Lawyer for husband of 'Doomsday Mom' Lori Vallow files motion to withdraw as counsel

NOTE: A judge has rejected the request made by John Prior to withdraw from his role as counsel in Chad Daybell's case on Jan. 18, 2024.

The original story is below.


The lawyer currently representing the husband of the so-called ‘Doomsday Mom’ has filed a motion to withdraw from his role as counsel.

According to legal documents obtained by FOX 10 Investigator Justin Lum, John Prior has filed a petition with a court in Idaho's Fremont County, requesting to withdraw from his role as counsel in the case in the case against Chad Daybell.

"As this court is aware, this case is both extraordinarily complex, and the prosecution is seeking the death penalty, which requires counsel to essentially prepare for two trials," Prior wrote in the documents.

The same document stated that Daybell, who retained Prior as legal counsel with personal funds, has been declared indigent, in accordance with Idaho state law, and no longer has the ability to pay for the counsel's continued services.

"Remaining on the case would required undersigned counsel to work around the clock, more than full-time, for more than four months without compensation and without the assistance of any other counsel," read a portion of the filing.

The same filing states that Daybell is seeking to have two capital case-qualified attorneys to be appointed for him, and that Daybell has consented to Prior's decision to withdraw from the case.

Daybell to be tried a year after Lori Vallow

Chad Daybell (file)

As recently as December 2023, a judge has ruled that the death penalty is still an option for Chad Daybell, who is being tried in connection with the deaths of Vallow's children, Joshua ‘JJ’ Vallow and Tylee Ryan. Daybell is also accused of murdering his first wife, Tammy Daybell.

Click here for more coverage on the Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell case

JJ and Tylee were found dead in Daybell’s backyard in east Idaho in June 2020 after missing for several months. The case has garnered global media attention due to various unusual aspects in the case. Daybell's trial is set for April.