3:48: Both sides stipulate a deadline in 60 days to file a motion for a change of venue, either within District 7 or in another judicial district.
That's it for today.
3:46 p.m.: Eddins: "The court finds that the state has met its burden of probable cause and I find that there is probable or sufficient cause to believe the defendant Chad Daybell committed the offenses." Sends the case to district court and sets arraignment for 9 a.m. on Aug. 21 before Judge Boyce.
3:44 p.m.: Sounds like court's going to be back in a minute, which means Eddins has ruled.
3:32 p.m.: Prior, defense lawyer: The prosecution hasn't met its burden in establishing conspiracy. Prior argued that marriage is not an overt act of conspiracy or an agreement to conceal or conspire. He called the text message “obscure” and denied that there was solid proof on which day the text was sent. “They haven’t met their burden,” said Prior after asking Magistrate Judge Faren Eddins to dismiss the case.
Court has recessed for a few minutes. Judge Eddins says he will gather his thoughts and "make a ruling here today momentarily."
3:27 p.m.: Prosecutor Wood focused on Daybell's text claiming he buried a raccoon buried in his pet cemetery. The text was sent the day Tylee went missing. Tylee was later found in that same pet cemetery.
Wood: The court, as finder of fact, can make the "reasonable inference" that J.J. Vallow and Tylee Ryan "were victims of a homicide." Chad Daybell was aware that Lori Vallow was charged with two felony counts of desertion of a minor child in Madison County.
"Clearly the location and welfare of these bodies was evidence in that felony proceeding."
Wood: Their bodies were concealed on Chad Daybell's property. One was burned. Alex Cox, whose phone was pinged at the site, became Chad Daybell's brother in law less than two months later. Both Daybell and Vallow tried to convince Melanie Gibb either to not cooperate with the police or to lie to them. There is enough evidence to move forward with the case.
3:23 p.m.: Closing arguments are starting now.
3:07 p.m.: Court is back. Prior is starting to cross-examine Dean.
2:36 p.m.: Court has recessed until 2:50 p.m., at which time defense lawyer John Prior will start cross-examining FBI Agent Dean.
2:35 p.m.: Dean just read several texts between Chad and Tammy on Sept. 9, 2019, including notably one where he told her he shot a raccoon and buried it in their yard.
Dean: "It was longer and more detailed than any of the other messages between Chad and Tami that were stored on the device."
Most of their messages, Dean said, were relatively short and dealt with matters such as picking up food for an animal, depositing and cashing checks and when one or the other would be home.
Dean: "It appeared to me to be the first and only message sent from Chad to Tammy in which Chad was describing and informing Tammy of the day's events in such a lengthy and detailed manner."
It also caught Dean's attention because the last day Tylee was seen alive was Sept. 8, 2019.
2:31 p.m.: According to Dean, marital affection was shown in texts between Chad Daybell and Tammy Daybell including “I love you," “eager to kiss you,” and “can’t sleep without you.”
Earlier witness Melanie Gibb said Chad Daybell was physically affectionate with Lori Vallow prior to Tammy’s death.
2:27 p.m.: Daybell and Vallow are currently being investigated for murder, attempted murder, and conspiracy regarding the death of Tammy Daybell, according to an April letter from the Idaho Attorney General’s Office.
2:25 p.m.: Dean says he forensically examined a cell phone belonging to Tammy Daybell, first wife of Chad Daybell. Tammy died in her sleep in October 2019 under what law enforcement have called “suspicious circumstances.” Daybell and Valow were married just 17 days after Tammy’s death.
The phone was found while executing a search warrant at the Daybell residence on Jan. 3.
2:12 p.m.: Benjamin Dean, also FBI, is up to testify now.
2:02 p.m.: The last three witnesses have mostly talked about matters related to the evidence chain of custody.
1:54 p.m.: Gary Lyu, an FBI forensic examiner, is up to testify now.
1:49 p.m.: Mattingly was also involved in the search.
1:47 p.m.: That was quick. Detective Brewster Mattingly, also Fremont County Sheriff's office, is up to testify now.
1:45 p.m.: Powell was one of the law enforcement officers who helped to execute the search warrant on the Daybell residence on Jan. 3.
1:44 p.m.: Daniels is done. The prosecutor has called Lt. Joe Powell, Fremont County Sheriff's Office, to the stand.
1:38 p.m.: Prior is questioning Daniels about the dimensions of the pet cemetery on the property, which is where Tylee's remains were found. Prior made the point that if the FBI had not dug up the entire property, there might have been a raccoon buried there. This line of questioning was in reference to a Sept. 9 text Chad sent to his first wife Tammy Daybell:
“Well, I’ve had an interesting morning! felt should burn all of the limb debris by the fire pit before it got too soaked by the coming storms. While did so, spotted big racoon along the fence. hurried and got my gun, and he was still walking along. got close enough that one shot did the trick. He is now in our pet cemetery. Fun times!”
This text was sent the day after Tylee was seen for the last time.
1:24 p.m.: The hearing has started again. Defense attorney John Prior is cross-examining FBI Special Agent Steven Daniels.
Noon: The Court is taking a recess for lunch. After it resumes the hearing, Daybell's defense attorney John Prior will cross examine special agent Steven Daniels, who detailed how investigators discovered the bodies of J.J. and Tylee on Daybell's property.
Before the Court recessed, a photograph of another piece of evidence was placed before it. The photograph shows an LG cell phone taken from Daybell’s property on Jan. 3 during the execution first search warrant.
11:58 a.m.: Daniels said removing remains from "a mass of dismembered human remains" from the pet cemetery was difficult for law enforcement.
"It was kind of this, for lack of better word, it was kind of a mass of dismembered human remains, burnt, partially burnt, so we did the best we could. It was kind of hard to recognize what we were looking at initially," Daniels said.
Under these human remains was a melted bucket with further remains. To the right was a skull, mandible and some teeth. The remains fell apart as the FBI tried to move them. Law enforcement then removed each piece and placed them into the coroner's body bags.
11:48 a.m.: After discovering J.J.'s body at the firepit, Daniels said law enforcement started processing remains at a so-called pet cemetery. FBI brought an anthropologist to discern between animal and human remains, Daniels said. Initially, two animal remains were found at the pet cemetery. So were Tylee's burned remains.
Daneils said while a backhoe was digging up ground near the pet cemetery, he smelled what he believed to be human remains. At that point, he instructed law enforcement to dig by hand.
Eventually, investigators discovered what appeared to be parts of a human body. A "significant piece," Daniels said, was a pelvic region.
"We knew at that point we had found human remains. That was where we stopped processing for the day," Daniels said.
He said the remains appeared burned — with pink tissue still showing. The burned remains were later determined to be Tylee's.
11:36 a.m.: FBI special agent Steven Daniels said he found a body, later determined to be J.J.'s, under a firepit at Daybell's property. Daniels said he had to lift stones that surrounded the firepit, then remove wooden boards underneath those stones that he said someone had placed.
Underneath the boards, Daniels found a body wrapped in a black plastic bag, "with a lot of duct tape." Daniels cut the bag open to discover human hair.
"That was the point that we determined those were human remains," Daniels said.
The FBI's photos of the site were presented to the court. Daniels said the FBI wanted to photograph this to “tell the story” of how much care and effort someone took in the burial of this body.
11:25 a.m.: The FBI prepared for the June 9 search for a week, according to testimony from FBI special agent Steven Daniels. Daniels is the first of three FBI agents called to the stand.
Federal agents established priority areas to search through Cox’s September cell phone pings, a text message likely from Daybell regarding the burial of an animal in his pet cemetery and satellite images.
Areas of interest include the area near Daybell’s pond, the pet cemetery and the fire pit, Daniels said. FBI believed there may be evidence in Daybell’s fire pit “because something could have happened here,” Daniels said.
Tylee’s remains were later found in the pet cemetery. Her remains were burned and charred. J.J.’s remains were found near the pond.
11:06 a.m.: The Court played an audio recording of a phone call between Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow the day that law enforcement searched Daybell's property and discovered the body of Vallow's children, J.J. and Tylee.
The audio was extremely muffled, the Court acknowledged. Judge Eddins said he will listen to it outside of Court with improved audio later. The Post Register was not able to get a full transcript of the call. The notes below are based on the rough recording:
Chad Daybell: Hello
Lori Vallow: Hi, are you OK?
Daybell: They’re searching me, the property.
Vallow: The house right now?
Daybell: Yeah, yeah...So Mark means will be talking to you.
Vallow: Ok. Well are they in the house?
Daybell: No, no...the property.
Vallow: Are they seizing stuff again?
Daybell: They’re searching...there’s a search warrant so…I’m glad you called.
Daybell: ...I’m glad you called.
Vallow: What do you want me to do? Pray?
Daybell: Yeah, pray.
Vallow: ...how are you?
Daybell: I'm feeling pretty calm...I called Mark...I love you so much
Vallow: OK, I love you, should I try to call later?
Daybell: ...you can try…
Vallow: I love you and we’ll talk soon.
Daybell: I love you...
10:44 a.m.: They started to play the call but it was pretty unintelligible. Court is taking a short recess to find an IT person and see if they can turn up the volume.
10:42 a.m.: They're playing the recording now.
10:40 a.m.: Prosecutor Wood is asking Lt. Willmore about a phone call between Lori Vallow, who was in the jail, and Chad Daybell, on June 9, 2020.
10:34 a.m.: Warwick says he last saw J.J. the night of the 22nd when he was at the home recording a podcast, when Alex Cox brought J.J. home and put him to sleep in Lori’s room.
Warwick has been excused. Lt. Jared Willmore, Madison County Sheriff’s Office, is up now. He is in charge of the jail and oversees the Telmate telephone/video tablet visit system there.
10:29 a.m.: Warwick: Alex Cox, Vallow's brother, was a frequent visitor to Vallow's town home. Cox seemed to be a frequent caretaker of J.J. Cox and J.J. seemed close and to have a good relationship despite J.J.'s seeming to have difficulty bonding with men.
10:27 a.m.: Warwick, who is now being questioned by Daybell's lawyer John Prior, says he has been familiar with Daybell for 5 years. He attended preparedness events with Daybell and was familiar with Daybell’s non-fiction writings.
Warwick knew Cox as well, described as a “fun guy” who also attended preparedness events.
10:20 a.m.: Warwick confirms that weekend he saw Daybell at Vallow’s home once or twice. He saw Daybell three times total that weekend.
10:15 a.m.: Wood is asking Warwick about the night of Sept. 22, 2019, the last date J.J. is known to have been alive.
Warwick says he saw J.J. on the 22nd. He was at their home recording a podcast. The next morning, he says, he asked Lori about J.J. She told Warwick J.J. was being a zombie, had smashed her picture of Christ and had climbed up between the cabinets and the ceiling.
Warwick: "I asked to see him and she just said that he was out of control so she had Alex (her brother, Alex Cox) come and get him."
10:07 a.m.: Wood questions Gibb briefly about her discussions with Lori Vallow about their shared LDS faith. He asks if Vallow had some beliefs Gibb didn't; she says yes and attributes her different beliefs to Chad Daybell's influence.
Gibb has been excused from the stand. David Warwick, boyfriend of Gibb, is called as the next witness. Warwick was staying with Lori at the time J.J. is believed to have died. This is the first time the public has seen or heard from Warwick. Warwick lives in Pleasant Grove, Utah.
10:02 a.m.: Court is back in session after a short recess. Prosecutor Rob Wood is questioning Melanie Gibb on redirect.
9:51 a.m.: Melanie Gibb faces cross-examination from Daybell’s attorney John Prior. Gibb describes her interviews with law enforcement and prosecutor Rob Wood. Prior questions whether Gibb had been prepped by Wood for Monday and Tuesday’s hearing, going so far as to ask Gibb if Wood advised her on what to wear. Gibb says Wood did not prepare her in any way.
Gibb describes meeting Chad and Lori at multiple “preparedness” events that were centered around both preparing for disaster scenarios and the LDS religion. Daybell gave speeches on his visions of the end times.
Gibb, Chad and Gibb's boyfriend David Warwick went to look at real estate together. Daybell encouraged Warwick to buy land and build a home near Daybell’s.
9:44 a.m.: The second day of Chad Daybell's preliminary hearing at the Fremont County Courthouse in St. Anthony is underway. Follow here for live updates.
Daybell and his second wife, Lori Vallow, are each facing two felony counts involving the cover-up of the deaths of Vallow’s children, 7-year-old J.J. Vallow and 17-year-old and Tylee Ryan. The children’s bodies were found buried in Daybell’s backyard on June 9.
The day has started with the cross-examination of Melanie Gibb, a friend of Vallow's. On Monday the prosecution played a phone call between Gibb and the Daybells in which she confronted them about why they asked her to lie to police about J.J.'s location.
Post Register reporters Sally Krutzig, Nathan Brown and Kyle Pfannenstiel contributed.