PHOENIX - Chad Daybell is facing murder charges in the deaths of JJ Vallow, Tylee Ryan and Tammy Daybell. The state of Idaho is seeking the death penalty if he’s convicted.
Daybell’s wife, Lori Vallow, will be sentenced on July 31 after being convicted of murder/conspiracy in the deaths of those victims.
Daybell became Lori's fifth husband on November 5, 2019 -- roughly two weeks after his previous wife, Tammy Daybell, died under suspicious circumstances. Meanwhile, JJ and Tylee were missing. They were last seen in September, and they were declared missing in November after extended family urged police to investigate. Their bodies were found the following year buried in Chad Daybell’s yard.
Who is Chad Daybell?
Daybell, 54, was also a member of the LDS church and a self-published author who wrote doomsday-focused fiction loosely based on church teachings. He married Tammy Daybell in 1990, and they had five kids.
Prosecutors say he met Vallow Daybell at a conference in Utah in 2018. The two purportedly felt an "instant connection" and claimed they had been married to each other in a past life, according to police records. Friends of the couple told investigators that the pair shared the same unusual beliefs, including that they could tell if someone had been taken over by an evil spirit.
Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow Daybell led a group of friends in trying to cast out the supposed evil spirits by praying and doing "energy work," prosecutors said. Friends told police that in some cases they determined a person had become a "zombie," fully controlled by the evil spirit.
Vallow Daybell claimed the only way to get rid of a "zombie" was to destroy the person’s body, prosecutors say, and one friend told police she heard Vallow Daybell call the children zombies before they disappeared.
Tammy Daybell was initially described as having died in her sleep of natural causes. But an autopsy showed she was asphyxiated to death, Prosecutor Lindsey Blake told jurors earlier this month.
Chad Daybell is also charged in the triple murder case. Like Vallow Daybell, he has pleaded not guilty to all the charges. He is expected to stand trial several months from now.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.