Vallow-Daybell's preliminary hearing rescheduled, lawyers ask for new judge

Lori Vallow Daybell is shown during her court appearance on March 6 at the Madison County Courthouse in Rexburg. Her preliminary hearing has been moved to May 7 and 8.

The preliminary hearing for Lori Vallow set for next week has officially been moved to May 7 and 8, Madison County Court Administrator Tammie Whyte confirmed Friday. Whyte also confirmed that Judge Faren Eddins had been disqualified at Vallow’s attorney’s request.

Originally set for March 18 and 19, Vallow’s attorney Mark Means requested the hearing be moved to allow additional time to exchange and review items of discovery given to them by the prosecutor. Those items of discovery include statements made by Vallow, Vallow’s prior criminal record, documents, tangible objects, test results, prosecution witnesses, expert witnesses, unredacted copies of police reports, handwritten notes, Brady material (evidence favorable to Vallow), law enforcement dispatch tapes, evidence of other crime(s), tape recordings, and other information.

Eddins signed the motion for his own disqualification on Friday. Means asked that Eddins be disqualified per Idaho Criminal Rule 25 stating “the judge is biased or prejudiced for or against any party or that party’s case.”

Means stated in his document that Eddins was biased because he also is presiding over the child protection action case in which J.J.’s grandparents, Larry and Kay Woodcock, are seeking to take custody of J.J. from Vallow. The next hearing regarding J.J.’s guardianship is a status conference set for April 16.

“This poses a conflict and/or unfair prejudice with respect to the Defendant’s right to fair proceedings, 5th amendment and any rulings made therein,” Means wrote.

Vallow currently sits in the Madison County Jail on a $1 million bail as she faces charges related to the September disappearance of her two minor children, 17-year-old Tylee Ryan and 7-year-old Joshua “J.J.” Vallow. Vallow is charged with two felony counts of desertion and nonsupport of dependent children as well as misdemeanors involving resisting or obstructing officers, criminal solicitation to commit a crime, and contempt of court.