Pre-trial conference

Lori Vallow’s jury trial has been set for January 2021.

Lori Vallow, who is being investigated for her possible involvement in the deaths of her two minor children, her former husband and her current husband’s former wife, will face a jury trial from Jan. 25 through Jan 29, 2021, on three Madison County misdemeanor charges.

The decision to push the proceedings to next year was made and agreed upon by Magistrate Judge Michelle Mallard, Madison County Prosecutor Rob Wood and Vallow’s attorney Mark Means at Friday’s pre-trial conference.

Though the trial is for the Madison County misdemeanor charges, Wood suggested that those charges will end up being tried at the same time as her two Fremont County felony charges of concealment.

Means asked for four or five days for the trial, saying it could go even longer as “this is a little different than most misdemeanor cases.” He also asked for the jury trial to be set six months out.

“My client is going to waive her right to a speedy trial,” Means said.

Wood agreed with the six-month time frame, saying there were still discussions that needed to take place regarding the trial.

“There are conversations between the defense and the state in regards to venue (and) possible consolidation of cases. And so, in and of itself, no we don’t need a lot of time to prepare, but I think what Mr. Means has said is accurate in terms of the conversations we’re going to be having, in terms of when we actually try this, and I think it’s consolidated with other charges.”

After agreeing to a January trial, Means also asked that Vallow’s Madison County bond be reduced. Vallow currently has a $1 million bond for her Madison County charges and a second $1 million bond for her Fremont County charges.

Last week, Vallow’s two previous Madison County felony counts for desertion and nonsupport of a dependent child were dismissed. Vallow is now only facing misdemeanor charges in Madison County. Means argued that Vallow’s Madison County bond should be reduced to reflect those dropped charges.

“My client has been a model inmate. These charges are not of a violent nature. There is no previous criminal record regarding my client in any other jurisdiction that we’re aware of. Her access to funds is extremely limited,” Means said in further arguments.

Mallard acknowledged that the misdemeanor charges amounted to relatively small potential sentences, just two years of jail time or a $2,500 fine.

Mallard then lowered the bond to $50,000 for each count for a total of $150,000. The judge added an additional condition to Vallow’s bond. Should Vallow make bail, she is not allowed to contact her “alleged co-conspirators” in her Fremont County case, likely meaning husband Chad Daybell.

Mallard said she was taking into account that Vallow still had a high bond in Fremont County.

“Regardless of what I do with bond here today, there is still another case with a $1 million bond that is outstanding,” Mallard said.

Vallow’s three misdemeanor charges include resisting or obstructing an officer when she lied about her son J.J. Vallow’s whereabouts, soliciting another to commit a crime when she asked her friend Melanie Gibb to lie to an officer about J.J.’s whereabouts and contempt of court for failing to produce her children when ordered to do so.

Means filed a court document on Tuesday saying Vallow would plead not guilty to all three counts.

Vallow still faces two felony charges involving concealment of evidence for which she has not yet entered a plea. She is set to appear in person at the Madison County Courthouse on Aug. 10 and 11 for a preliminary hearing regarding those charges.

The maximum punishment for each felony includes up to “five years imprisonment and/or up to (a) $10,000 fine.”

The investigation into Vallow and her fifth husband, Daybell, has drawn interest from around the world. Vallow and Daybell, who married 17 days after his wife of 29 years died from what police have called suspicious causes, fled their Rexburg home in November when authorities tried to conduct a welfare check on J.J. and 17-year-old Tylee Ryan.

The bodies of the children, who were last seen alive in September, were discovered buried in Daybell’s backyard in Fremont County last month.

The suspicious death of Daybell’s first wife Tammy on Oct. 19 at the same Fremont property where the children’s remains were discovered also remains under investigation. 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.

The Chandler, Arizona, Police Department is investigating Vallow for her potential involvement in her estranged fourth husband Charles Vallow’s death on July 11, 2019, following a reported family disturbance that also involved Vallow’s brother Alex Cox. Cox told police he shot Charles Vallow after Charles hit him in the head with a baseball bat.

The incident was initially deemed self-defense but remains under investigation. Other than Lori Vallow, there are no surviving witnesses to Charles Vallow’s death.

Cox died from what was ruled natural causes on Dec. 12 in Gilbert, Arizona.

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