On Thursday, Lori Vallow’s attorney filed a motion requesting her trial be transferred to a new location “because fair and impartial jury trial cannot be had in Fremont County, State of Idaho.”
As in the recent transfer request of Vallow's husband Chad Daybell, attorney Mark Means cited several legal codes and articles of the Constitution including the Idaho Criminal Code 21(a) which states a trial can be transferred “for prejudice” and the Sixth Amendment which declares a defendant has the “right to an impartial jury.”
Means is requesting a hearing and oral arguments regarding this motion.
While Vallow's jury trial was originally set to begin April 2, the date has since been moved. Court records filed Sept. 11 now indicated her trial will take place between March 22 and April 2.
Means has previously indicated he believes Fremont County jurors would not be impartial. Most notably, Means wrote a five-page response to a letter put out by the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
On Aug. 4, LDS First Presidency members Russell M. Nelson, Dallin H. Oaks and Henry B. Eyring sent out a letter reminding members of the church’s policy regarding involvement in legal proceedings.
“We remind leaders and members of a long-standing policy that Church leaders should not involve themselves in civil or criminal cases regarding members in their units, quorums or organizations without first consulting with Church legal counsel,” the letter first reported by Fox 13 states.
Means asserted the letter was intentionally sent to affect his client’s legal proceedings by encouraging LDS members to “enter into a code of silence.” He noted that Vallow's case is set in a state with a high LDS population.
“These LDS residents make up possible jury pool members, witnesses, judges, prosecutors, police officers, detectives, deputies, police chiefs/captains, and other elected and nonelected officials throughout the State of Idaho,” Means wrote.
Married couple Daybell and Lori Vallow face felony charges relating to the cover-up of the deaths of Vallow’s children, 16-year-old Tylee Ryan and 7-year-old J.J. Vallow. Both face two counts for the conspiracy to commit destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence. Daybell is facing two additional felony charges for the destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence. Each count carries a punishment of “up to five years imprisonment and/or up to a $10,000 fine.”
The couple is also under investigation for the October 2019 death of Daybell’s first wife, Tammy Daybell. Vallow and Daybell married 17 days after his wife of 29 years died in her sleep under what police have called suspicious circumstances.
Vallow is under further investigation for her involvement in the deaths of her third husband, Joseph Ryan, and fourth husband, Charles Vallow.