Lori Vallow to Remain in Mental Hospital for 180 Days, Judge Says She's Unfit for Court

Lori Vallow, the woman accused of killing her two children in a closely watched case, must remain at the Idaho psychiatric unit where she is being held, a judge ruled.

District Judge Steven Boyce said Wednesday that Vallow is still not mentally competent to stand trial and ordered her another 180 days in the state mental hospital, the Associated Press reported.

Vallow and her husband, Chad Daybell, who allegedly subscribed to apocalyptic, cultist beliefs, are facing multiple counts of conspiracy to commit murder and first-degree murder in addition to other crimes.

Vallow's children, 7-year-old Joshua "JJ" Vallow and 16-year-old Tylee Ryan, as well as Chad's first wife, Tammy Daybell, were found in shallow graves in 2020 after they had gone missing, according to the East Idaho News.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Lori Daybell in Idaho Court
Lori Vallow, the woman accused of killing her two children in a closely watched case, must remain at the Idaho psychiatric unit where she is being held, a judge ruled on Wednesday. On Thursday, District Judge Steven Boyce sent Vallow back to the state hospital for another 180 days, declaring her incompetent. Above, Vallow (left) during a hearing in Rexburg, Idaho. John Roark/The Idaho Post-Register via AP

The East Idaho News reported that Daybell was committed to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare on June 8 after a mental health professional said she was not competent to stand trial. Last month, Boyce asked for a progress report on her condition after getting letters asking for her commitment to be extended.

Lori and Chad Daybell are charged with multiple counts of conspiracy to commit murder and first-degree murder, among other crimes. The charges are in relation to the deaths of 7-year-old Joshua "J.J." Vallow, 16-year-old Tylee Ryan—two of Lori's kids—and Chad's first wife, Tammy Daybell.

The children's bodies were found in Chad Daybell's backyard in Idaho in 2020.

Chad Daybell also appeared during the Zoom hearing with his attorney, John Prior, to discuss moving his November trial to a later date.

Boyce said the prosecution and defense still need to continue the exchange of evidence and a change of venue hearing still needs to be held.

The complex case began in 2018, according to the indictment, when Chad and Lori Daybell—both still married to other people—began espousing their apocalyptical system of religious belief.

Lori Daybell was arrested in Hawaii in 2020 on an Idaho warrant.

In Arizona, Lori Daybell is charged with conspiracy to commit murder in connection with the death of her previous husband. Charles Vallow was shot and killed by Lori Daybell's brother, Alex Cox, who claimed it was self-defense. Cox later died of what police said was natural causes.

Chad Daybell has pleaded not guilty to all Idaho charges. He doesn't face charges in Arizona. Lori Daybell has not yet entered a plea in the Idaho or Arizona cases.