Lori Vallow was arraigned on two murder conspiracy charges in Arizona a week after her extradition from Idaho, where she has been jailed since being convicted in the murders of her children and conspiring to kill her husband Chad Daybell’s former wife.
The so-called “cult mom” chatted with deputies and smiled at reporters from a holding room on Thursday before she was led into the courtroom wearing an orange jail jumpsuit, local FOX10 reporter Justin Lum reported from the Maricopa County courthouse.
She only spoke when the presiding judge asked her for her name and she responded, “Lori Vallow Daybell.”
Prosecutor Treena Kay asked the judge for Lori’s currently-scheduled trial date of 4 April 2024 to be amended, explaining that both are murder cases and complex.
The current trial date is also three days after Lori’s alleged cult leader husband Chad’s trial is set to begin in Idaho. He faces the same charges Lori was convicted of earlier this year.
In response, the judge said the trial date will be left as it is for now, but then asked the prosecution to file a motion on the matter.
Not guilty pleas were entered by the judge on Lori’s behalf for two charges of conspiracy to commit murder that were filed against her.
The charges stem from the 2019 fatal shooting of Lori’s fourth husband, Charles Vallow, which happened in Chandler, and she is also accused of planning the attempted murder of Brandon Boudreaux, her niece’s ex-husband, in Gilbert.
Charles Vallow was shot and killed by Lori’s brother Alex Cox, who claimed self-defence. He was never charged and died months later.
Months before Vallow’s death, he had filed for a divorce based on claims that Lori’s religious beliefs were devolving into something far more sinister. In one filing, he wrote that Lori had claimed to be a goddess sent to usher in the Biblical apocalypse. He had also allegedly expressed concerns that Lori was cheating on him with Chad, who shared her extreme beliefs.
Despite the imminent end to their marriage, Charles and Lori were tied together by their adoptive son, JJ.
On 11 July, Charles went to Lori’s home for a custody exchange that turned deadly when he was shot by her brother, Alex Cox.
Cox told police he acted in self-defence, and he was never charged. He died later that year of what investigators said were natural causes.
Shortly after Charles died, Lori and her kids moved to Idaho. At her murder trial, prosecutors said she made the move to be closer to her then-boyfriend Mr Daybell so they could continue their plot to remove any obstacle to their happiness.
Weeks after JJ and Tylee vanished without being reported missing by their mother, another member of the family faced an attack back in Arizona.
On 2 October, Mr Boudreaux, the ex-husband of Lori’s niece, was targeted in a drive-by shooting outside his home in Gilbert. The bullet missed his head by mere inches.
When police were finally made aware of JJ and Tylee’s disappearance in November - weeks after the death of Chad’s first wife and his new marriage to Lori - Charles’ death and the alleged attempt on Mr Boudreaux’s life became key points in the investigation.
But it wasn’t until June 2021 - shortly after the children’s bodies were found on Mr Daybell’s Idaho property - that Lori was charged with conspiring to kill Charles. Her indictment for conspiring to kill Mr Boudreaux came days after her murder conviction in May.
Now, four years later, Lori is back in Arizona to face those charges.
An initial pre-trial conference has been scheduled for 18 January 2024.