Chad Daybell Sentenced to Death After First-Degree Murder Convictions

Chad Daybell was sentenced to death Saturday, two days after an Idaho jury found him guilty in the 2019 murders of his former wife Tammy Daybell and two children of his current wife, Lori Vallow Daybell.

On Thursday, Daybell was convicted of first-degree murder and conspiracy charges — including insurance fraud and grand theft — in connection to the 2019 killings. The jury began weighing Daybell’s punishment on Friday, and after about eight hours of deliberation, recommended the death penalty.

Judge Steven Boyce formally imposed the sentence of death Saturday, saying it was appropriate under the law, CNN reports.

Daybell, an author, had gained a Mormon audience interested in his self-published books filled with end-of-days visions. In 2018, he met Lori Vallow at a religious conference in St. George, Utah; both were part of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint. 

At the time, she was married to her fourth husband, Charles Vallow; Lori’s brother, Alex Cox, shot and killed Charles in 2019, successfully claiming self-defense, and died himself later that year of natural causes. 

Months later, Daybell’s wife, Tammy, died in her bed, with a delayed autopsy ultimately finding that she had been asphyxiated. Daybell and Lori married in Hawaii just 17 days after Tammy was discovered dead.

While the couple lived alone in Hawaii, reportedly on the life insurance money Daybell received after his wife’s death, relatives became concerned after they were unable to determine the whereabouts of Lori’s two children, seven-year-old son “JJ” Vallow and 16-year-old daughter Tylee Ryan.

After Lori failed to produce the children to authorities, she was arrested and extradited to Idaho for nonsupport and desertion of her children in February 2020. Months later, the children’s remains were found buried together on Daybell’s Rexburg, Idaho property. 


“Two dead children buried in the defendant Chad Daybell’s backyard,” prosecutor Rob Wood said in the opening statement of Daybell’s murder trial. “The next month his wife is found dead in their marital bed. Seventeen days after the death of his wife, Tammy Daybell, this defendant is photographed laughing and dancing on a beach in Hawaii at his wedding to Lori Vallow, a woman who was his mistress and the mother of the children buried in the graves on his property. Three dead bodies.”

In 2023, Lori Vallow was convicted of first-degree murder in the death of her two children and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.