Chad Daybell Sentenced to Death for Murders of Wife and Two Children

Chad Daybell was found guilty of murdering Joshua “JJ” Vallow, 7, and Tylee Ryan, 16, as well as his first wife, Tamara “Tammy” Daybell, 49.

Chad Daybell
Chad Daybell sentenced to death for murders of two children and wife.

An Idaho jury has sentenced Chad Daybell to death for the 2019 murders of his first wife and the two children of his second wife. Daybell, who showed no emotion as the verdict was read, was convicted after two days of jury deliberation.

Fremont County Prosecutor Lindsey Blake expressed hope that the verdict would bring healing to the victims’ families and friends, stating, “We are pleased with the outcome and justice has been served for the victims.”

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Daybell, 55, was found guilty of murdering Joshua “JJ” Vallow, 7, and Tylee Ryan, 16, as well as his first wife, Tamara “Tammy” Daybell, 49. Tammy’s cause of death was determined to be asphyxiation.

Prosecutors argued that Daybell and his girlfriend, Lori Vallow, committed the murders to pursue “money, power, and sex.” They claimed Daybell used his apocalyptic beliefs to justify the killings, marking the victims as possessed.

Daybell and Vallow married in Hawaii two weeks after the murders. Vallow had previously been convicted of killing her two children and was sentenced to life in prison after the death penalty was dismissed in her case. She also faces charges in the death of her fourth husband, Charles Vallow.

Daybell was additionally found guilty of two counts of insurance fraud related to $430,000 in life insurance policies on Tammy Daybell.

During the sentencing phase, family members shared their grief and horror over the murders. Samantha Gwilliam, Tammy Daybell’s sister, lamented, “My sister should not be dead right now. She should be here alive, smiling, with her family and friends.”

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Kay Woodcock, JJ’s grandmother, expressed her “immense pain” and described JJ as incredibly smart and compassionate. She grieved over the lost potential and memories, wondering who he might have become.

Colby Ryan, Vallow’s eldest child, spoke of the profound loss of his siblings, stating, “In short, I’ve lost everything I’ve ever known.”

Chad Daybell did not address the court during sentencing or testify in his defense. Since Idaho established the death penalty in 1864, the state has executed 29 people, with the most recent execution in 2012. Currently, eight people are on death row in Idaho.

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