Lawyers for doomsday cult mother Lori Vallow are seeking a new trial less than two weeks after she was found guilty of murdering her two children.
Vallow was found guilty on May 12 of the murders of JJ Vallow, 7, and Tylee Ryan, 16, in 2019 after becoming obsessed with ideas of an impending apocalypse.
The high-profile nature of the trial prompted his defense to appeal – arguing that the jury may have been swayed by information heard outside the courtroom.
In an interview after returning a guilty verdict in Vallow, one of the jurors admitted to local media that “he was aware of non-jury evidence,” according to Fox13.
Lori Vallow pictured listening to her guilty verdict at the Ada County Courthouse in Boise, Idaho on May 12, 2023
The bodies of JJ Vallow (left) and Tylee Ryan (right) were discovered in June 2020, ten months after they were last seen alive
Vallow is currently being held at Madison County Jail in Rexburg, Idaho, awaiting sentencing. She is then expected to be extradited to Arizona to face a separate murder charge for conspiracy in the death of her ex-husband Charles Vallow.
He was shot by Vallow’s brother Alex Cox in July 2019 in what was initially believed to be a vigilante shootout.
In its request for a new trial, the defense cited a quote from the juror interview, where they said the Phoenix police “had significant red flags, which if followed, you know, maybe we’re not here.” ‘
When asked if it was body camera footage of an earlier exchange with police during the shooting of Charles Vallow, the juror reportedly nodded.
The juror added that they had been told that the evidence in the Charles Vallow case had been presented “for demonstration purposes only”.
This is disputed by Vallow’s lawyers, who say it was ‘evidence to show some other reason other than bad character’.
Vallow is currently awaiting extradition to Arizona on another charge of conspiracy to murder. She is pictured in her booking photo following her guilty verdict
Whimsical Doomsday author Chad Daybell (pictured) faces his own murder trial after the children’s bodies were found in his backyard
Vallow is set to be extradited to face conspiracy murder charges in the 2020 death of her husband Charles Vallow, who was shot dead by his brother Alex Cox
The key people in Lori Vallow’s tangled family tree, including her five husbands, her two dead children and her killer brother
“Charles Vallow’s statements to law enforcement were not part of the evidence presented in this case. The juror and reporter refer to it, but it was not presented in court,” the motion states.
“We can only conclude that the juror relied on information not presented in court to reach their conclusion that Arizona dropped the ball and should have done more, even before Charles Vallow was shot down by Alex. Cox.”
Vallow was also convicted of conspiracy to murder the wife of Chad Daybell, an apocalyptic fantasy author who married Vallow shortly after his children were last seen. He is currently awaiting trial on his own murder charges.
However, lawyers argued that Vallow’s conspiracy conviction could also be problematic, as it included Chad Daybell, Alex Cox and “other co-conspirators, known and unknown”.
The appeal argues that the court only allowed the jury to consider two people, which they say changed the definition of conspiracy from grand jury trial to jury trial.
The murder trial was marked by harrowing images of the remains of JJ Vallow (left) and Tylee Ryan (right)
Police discovered the remains of JJ and Tylee in a burn at the home of Chad Daybell in Salem, Idaho, in 2020
The strange case came to national attention in 2019 after Vallow’s children disappeared.
It took another nine months for their bodies to be discovered in shallow graves in Chad Daybell’s backyard.
JJ had been suffocated with a plastic bag, while Tylee’s corpse was so badly burned and dismembered that it is still unclear how she was killed.
During her successful lawsuit, the state argued that Vallow was driven by “money, power and sex” and that she used all three of these things to achieve her twisted ends.
Jurors heard how they viewed his children and Daybell’s wife as “impediments” to the romantic life they envisioned for themselves in Hawaii.
Prosecutors said Vallow and Daybell believed – or chose to believe – that those who stood in their way were “dark” possessed individuals they referred to as “zombies.”
After JJ and Tylee disappeared, authorities began reviewing all deaths related to the couple, including Daybell’s wife, Tammy.
She was still with the doomsday author when he met Vallow, before suddenly dying in October 2019.
His death was initially ruled to result from natural causes, and Daybell refused an autopsy.
When attention turned to him and Vallow amid the disappearance of her children, she was exhumed and it was ruled that she had died of asphyxiation.
Tammy Daybell died under mysterious circumstances in October 2019, and Vallow was also found guilty of conspiracy in her murder
Vallow’s murder trial was marked by harrowing footage of the murders of JJ and Tylee, which led to audible gasps in the courtroom.
Jurors saw photos of JJ’s body wrapped in trash bags and duct tape – the tape binding his arms in front of him and wrapping around his head. He had been suffocated in a plastic bag.
Tylee’s remains were found in a fire pit in the backyard, and prosecutors described her as a “mass of bone and tissue.”
The teenager’s DNA was later found on a pickaxe and shovel in a shed on the property.