Chad Daybell Is Finally Getting His Day in Court, but His Attorney Won't Be Joining Him

Jennifer Tisdale - Author
By

Jan. 17 2024, Updated 12:24 p.m. ET

The story of Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow has been in and out of the news for several years. Both stand accused of murdering Vallow's two children while Daybell has also been charged with the murder of his ex-wife Tammy Daybell. It's a strange and heartbreaking story that involves theft, end-of-day preparation, and cult-like beliefs.

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Vallow was arrested in February 2020 while Daybell's arrest came four months later in June. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, scheduling their trials was difficult. Initially they were going to be tried together, but in March 2023 Judge Steven Boyce decided to "sever the case and postpone the trial for Chad Daybell," per KTVB 7. When is Chad Daybell's trial date? Here's what we know.

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What is Chad Daybell's trial date?

According to the East Idaho News, the decision to separate the trials was the "result of new DNA testing, which was just given to all parties involved in the criminal case." Attorneys for Daybell and Vallow felt they needed more time to conduct their own testing on the DNA evidence. Judge Boyce agreed based on the fact that the new evidence was not presented in a "timely manner."

Vallow opted to uphold her right to a speedy trial so her trial began April 3, 2023, and ended with a conviction that May. In July, Vallow was sentenced to three consecutive life terms, per The New York Times. Daybell's trial was vacated and was later scheduled for April 1, 2024, per Court TV but there is one problem, his attorney asked to withdraw from the case in January 2024.

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Why did Chad Daybell's attorney ask to withdraw from the murder case?

On Jan. 12, 2024, Daybell's attorney shocked the court by filing a motion to withdraw from the case. His attorney, John Prior, said that Daybell has been considered indigent and can no longer afford his services. Previously, Daybell was paying his attorney out of pocket. What makes this situation even more complicated is the fact that prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Daybell, so his legal counsel has to be death penalty-qualified.

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Prior also cited how difficult this case will be, leading up to the trial. "Remaining on this case would require undersigned counsel to work around the clock, more than full-time, for more than four months without compensation and without the assistance of any other counsel," said Prior in the motion. He also stated that Daybell has given his consent to withdraw and has "requested he be given two capital-qualified attorneys for the trial," via Court TV.

Prior was able to track down a temporary attorney while Daybell finds a new one. Unfortunately, the Public Defense Commission has yet to approve his temporary counsel. Finding a specialized lawyer is key because this could mean the difference between life and death for Daybell. The American Bar Association created the Death Penalty Project in 1986 for the sole purpose of improving the "quality and availability of legal representation for persons facing possible death sentences." Perhaps that's an avenue Daybell could explore.

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