Chad Daybell Sentenced to Death in Doomsday Triple Murder

Photo Illustration by Erin O’Flynn/The Daily Beast/Ada County Sheriff’s Office
Photo Illustration by Erin O’Flynn/The Daily Beast/Ada County Sheriff’s Office

Idaho doomsday author Chad Daybell received the death penalty at his sentencing on Saturday, bringing a stunning end to a five-year trial over the murders of his first wife and two of his second wife’s children.

“The jury has made a finding that it would be appropriate to impose the death penalty,” Judge Steven Boyce said in the Saturday afternoon sentencing hearing.

Daybell appeared emotionless in court as the decision was handed down.

“The court is directed that the defendant would be sentenced to death on those counts,” Boyce continued. He added that additional sentencing would be handed down Saturday afternoon for additional, lesser counts Daybell was convicted of, including insurance fraud.

Chad Daybell Introduced Family to Lori Vallow a Day After Wife’s Funeral, Son-In-Law Says

Daybell, 55, was on Thursday convicted on all charges, which included first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder, grand theft, and insurance fraud. Prosecutors argued that Daybell, an apocalypse fanatic, had conspired with his second wife Lori Vallow to murder Vallow’s two children, 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow and 16-year-old Tylee Ryan in September 2019. Their remains were found in the couple’s backyard in June 2020.

A month after slaying the children, prosecutors alleged, Daybell and Vallow conspired to kill Daybell’s first wife, Tammy Daybell, who was asphyxiated in her Idaho home. Daybell and Vallow married two weeks later.

Doomsday Dad Chad Daybell’s Kids Take Stand in Murder Trial

Vallow was sentenced last year to life in prison in connection with the case.

Witnesses testified that Daybell and Vallow’s extreme religious beliefs led them to murder anyone they deemed “dark”—including Vallow’s own children.

“If someone’s dark and they’re an earthly obstacle—the body has to die. Knowing that, Lori still brought her children to Idaho, closer to Chad Daybell,” Fremont County prosecutor Lindsay Blake told the jury during closing arguments. “Chad labeled her children dark. Their bodies were buried on his property, hidden from those looking for them. With them gone, he could be with Lori. Her time was completely free for him.”

How the Malignant Faith of Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell Went Mainstream

“They had money, power, sex, and no obstacles and, specifically, no earthly relatives, no encumbrances,” Blake said. “However, they left a wake of destruction and tears for those that had trusted them.”

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