How Did Chad Daybell's 2 Children Defend Him in Court Against Accusations He Killed Their Mother?

Chad Daybell is accused of murdering his first wife Tammy Daybell along with Lori Vallow's two children, Tylee Ryan and J.J. Vallow

<p>John Roark/Post Register via AP</p> Chad Daybell

John Roark/Post Register via AP

Chad Daybell

Two of Chad Daybell’s adult children took the stand this week in an Ada County, Idaho, courtroom, where their father is accused of murdering three people, including their mother.

Emma Murray and Garth Daybell testified during the first day of their father’s defense after prosecutors alleged he killed his wife Lori Vallow’s two children, Joshua "J.J." Vallow, 7, and Tylee Ryan, 16 and their mother, Chad Daybell's first wife Tammy Daybell, who was found dead in her bed on Oct. 19, 2019.

Murray testified that her father, who was married to Tammy for nearly 30 years and had five children with her, was distraught over Tammy's death at the age of 49.

“I’d never seen him more upset than in that moment,” Murray told the jury, 12News reported. “I know the grief was real. He may not have had the same romantic relationship that he had with my mother in the past, but I know he valued her as a person and seeing her die was very traumatic.”

Murray told the jury that her mother’s health began to get worse leading up to her death.

"Her health started declining. I was really worried about it,” she testified, per FOX 10. “She, well, she'd always be one to meet the demands of daily life without being exhausted and she started going to bed before dinner some nights."

Related: 'Attraction from the Very Beginning': Inside the Courtship of Lori Vallow & Chad Daybell

Rexburg Police Department (2) Lori and Chad Daybell
Rexburg Police Department (2) Lori and Chad Daybell

Garth Daybell also testified that his mother “was getting tired extremely easily,” got winded often and had “fainting spells” after kneeling, according to KSL.

Daybell told authorities Tammy had gone to bed with a cough and didn't wake up. Her manner of death was initially ruled as "natural causes," and no autopsy was done. Tammy's death was later deemed "suspicious”, and her body was exhumed. Prosecutors later revealed that Tammy’s death was a homicide and she died by asphyxia.

Murray also testified that both of her parents had the same views about religion and spoke to her about a dark entity that was plaguing her.

“Dad cast it out using the power of the priesthood and then I felt better afterwards,” she testified, per 12News.

Related: Prosecutors Reveal How Tammy Daybell Died During Lori Vallow Daybell Trial: 'At the Hands of Another'

Rexburg Police Department (2) Joshua Vallow, Tylee Ryan
Rexburg Police Department (2) Joshua Vallow, Tylee Ryan

Prosecutors said that Daybell, a self-published author of doomsday-themed books, believed that both of Lori’s children as well as Tammy were possessed by dark spirits and that Daybell and Lori's life together revolved around a small doomsday cult that believed in preparing for the imminent end of the world and eliminating people whose spirits had turned "dark.”

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J.J. and Tylee’s badly decomposed remains were found buried on Daybell's Idaho property on June 9, 2020. Tylee had been dismembered and burned; J.J. was asphyxiated and wrapped in plastic and bound by duct tape.

<p>Facebook</p> Chad and Tammy Daybell


Chad and Tammy Daybell

During her testimony, Murray said she spoke to Daybell about where the kids were prior to their discovery.

Daybell allegedly told her they were “in a safe place,” she testified, according to 12News.

Lori was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole in July 2023 after a jury found her guilty of murdering J.J. and Tylee and conspiring to murder Tammy.

Prior to sentencing her, Judge Steven Boyce called Lori's crimes "heinous and egregious," saying that she hadn't shown any remorse for her actions.

Daybell’s capital murder trial began in March.

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