Lori Vallow, known as the “doomsday cult” mom, is set to be sentenced to life in prison for killing her two children. After significant delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and procedural obstacles, Fremont County District Judge Steven Boyce is expected to deliver Vallow’s sentence at the Ada County Courthouse in Boise, Idaho on Monday. Vallow, who is 50 years old, was found guilty in May of murdering her seven-year-old son Joshua “JJ” Vallow and 16-year-old daughter Tylee Ryan in late 2019 and taking their security benefits. She was also convicted of conspiring to kill her husband Chad Daybell’s first wife Tammy that same year.
The bodies of the children were discovered in June 2020 at a pet cemetery on Mr. Daybell’s property. Tylee’s remains were found burned, while JJ had been strangled to death and was still in his pajamas with a plastic bag over his head and duct tape over his mouth. While Vallow’s sentencing may bring her legal journey in Idaho to a close, her husband will face trial later this year on the same charges. Additionally, Vallow is facing charges of conspiring to kill her fourth husband Charles Vallow in Arizona.
During the trial, disturbing evidence was presented, including testimony from family members claiming that Vallow referred to her children as zombies and believed herself to be a goddess tasked with bringing about the Biblical apocalypse. Vallow and Mr. Daybell apparently believed they had the power to cast out demons from people and “work on them.” Vallow is expected to receive a life sentence, while Mr. Daybell is facing the death penalty.
Currently held at the Madison County Jail, Vallow will be transferred to the custody of the Idaho Department of Correction and subsequently relocated to the Pocatello Women’s Correctional Center. Four family members are expected to give victim impact statements at Vallow’s sentencing, including her surviving son and sister, as well as JJ’s grandmother and Tammy Daybell’s aunt. Vallow’s defense attorneys will also have the opportunity to speak on her behalf.
After Vallow’s sentencing, Arizona prosecutors are anticipated to request extradition. In Maricopa County, Vallow has been charged with conspiring to kill her fourth husband, Charles Vallow, who was shot dead by her brother Alex Cox in July 2019. JJ and Tylee disappeared without a trace in September 2019, with Vallow withholding their whereabouts from authorities for many months.
Just a month after the children were last seen alive, Tammy, Mr. Daybell’s wife, died suddenly. Vallow and Mr. Daybell then traveled to Hawaii and got married on the beach. In June 2020, the remains of JJ and Tylee were found buried on Mr. Daybell’s property in Rexburg, Idaho, leading to the arrest of the cult-like couple on murder charges. Prosecutors argued that Vallow and Mr. Daybell conspired with Cox to kill Tammy, JJ, and Tylee, driven by their bizarre cult beliefs and financial motives to collect insurance and benefits.