Chad Daybell Faces Trial for Three Deaths, Including Children Referred to as ‘Zombies’

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Written By Vikas Jangid

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Trial Begins for Man Accused in Bizarre Idaho Murder Case

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The highly anticipated trial of Chad Daybell, charged with the murders of his wife and his girlfriend's two youngest children, is set to commence this week in Idaho. The case, which has garnered global attention, has already resulted in a life sentence for the mother of the children, Lori Vallow Daybell.

Legal Proceedings and Charges

Daybell's trial, expected to last around 10 weeks, will kick off with jury selection starting Monday in Boise. The 55-year-old self-published author faces three counts of first-degree murder in connection with the deaths of Tammy Daybell, 7-year-old Joshua "JJ" Vallow, and JJ's older sister, Tylee Ryan.

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Background and Allegations

Last year, Lori Vallow Daybell was convicted and sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Testimony revealed the couple's belief in identifying possessed individuals, whom they referred to as "zombies," and their conviction that killing them was necessary.

Discovery of Bodies and Additional Charges

The discovery of the children's bodies buried in Chad Daybell's yard in eastern Idaho in the summer of 2020 shocked the nation, prompting further investigation into the couple's actions.

In addition to the murder charges, Chad Daybell faces accusations of insurance fraud related to Tammy Daybell's death, along with conspiracy charges in the deaths of the children.

Prosecutors suggest the couple's doomsday beliefs served as justification for the murders, allegedly aimed at clearing obstacles to their relationship and gaining financial benefits.

Defendant’s Position and Legal Proceedings

Daybell maintains his innocence and seeks to present his side of the story during the trial. However, a gag order issued by 7th District Judge Steven Boyce prohibits discussion of the case until after jury selection and opening statements.

Originally set to be tried together, Chad and Lori Daybell's cases were separated in 2022 due to conflicting defenses. The saga began in 2019 when Lori Vallow's children went missing, setting off a lengthy investigation revealing a web of suspicious deaths and religious beliefs.

Anticipated Interest and Legal Implications

As the trial unfolds, the peculiar details of the case and the alleged motivations behind the crimes are expected to captivate both local and international audiences.


What are the charges against Chad Daybell?

Chad Daybell faces multiple charges including three counts of first-degree murder, insurance fraud, two counts of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, and grand theft by deception.

Why were the children referred to as ‘zombies’?

Former friend Melanie Gibb testified that Chad and Lori Daybell held beliefs that they could identify dark spirits in individuals, transforming them into "zombies," and that the only solution was to kill the person to remove this possession.

If convicted, what is the potential sentence for Chad Daybell?

If Chad Daybell is convicted of the charges against him, he could potentially be sentenced to death.

Why were Chad and Lori Daybell’s trials split?

Their attorney contended that there would be conflicting defenses, known as "mutually antagonistic defenses," which would create significant contradictions between the co-defendants' cases, rendering a joint trial unworkable.

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