Lori Vallow

Lori Vallow appears May 1 at the Madison County Magistrate Court.

REXBURG — Attorney Mark Means filed a court document stating Lori Vallow would be pleading not guilty to her three misdemeanor charges, according to court records dated June 14.

The records also stated Vallow’s intention to seek a pre-jury trial conference and a jury trial. Pre-trial conferences are a time at which a judge and opposing attorneys can confer as to what will happen at a trial in order to simplify the trial process.

A July 15 court order said the pre-trial conference will be held remotely at 10:30 a.m. on July 17 through Zoom.

Vallow faces three misdemeanor charges of resisting or obstructing an officer when she lied about J.J.’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.

She faces up to 6 months in jail or up to $1,000 fine for each resisting and contempt charge and up to 6 months in jail and up to $500 in fines for the solicitation charge.

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 Aug 11.

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

Means also claimed in the new filing that the Madison County Court lacked both personal jurisdiction and subject matter jurisdiction. Personal jurisdiction is the “the power that a court has to make a decision regarding the party being sued in a case,” according to Cornell Law School. Subject matter jurisdiction refers to whether a specific court has the authority to rule on a certain type of case. For example, a bankruptcy case may only be heard in bankruptcy court.

These new claims suggest Lori Vallow may be trying to move her misdemeanor charges to another court, such as family court.

Means laid out several reasons why he believes these misdemeanor charges should be dropped. He said Vallow’s summons papers were not properly served, she did not knowingly violate any order and was unable to comply.

Last week, Vallow’s two felony counts for desertion and nonsupport of a dependent child were dismissed. Means also argued that Vallow’s $1 million bond should be reduced to reflect those dropped charges. Vallow is also seeking a change of venue and an extended amount of time to prepare for a trial regarding her misdemeanor charges.

The investigation into Vallow and her fifth husband Chad Daybell has drawn interest from around the world. Vallow and Daybell fled their Rexburg home when authorities tried to conduct a welfare check on her two children, 17-year-old Tylee Ryan and 7-year-old J.J. Vallow. The children’s bodies were discovered buried in Daybell’s backyard last month.

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

Daybell and Vallow also are 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, Ariz., Police Department also is investigating Vallow for her potential involvement in her estranged husband Charles Vallow’s death on July 11, 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 shooting death. Cox died from what was ruled natural causes on Dec. 12 in Gilbert, Ariz.

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