Lori Vallow trial verdict will be livestreamed, judge rules after banning video of testimony

The judge presiding over Lori Vallow’s murder trial has ruled that the court will stream the verdict of the high-profile case once it’s reached.

The decision was made public on the fourth week of Ms Vallow’s trial over charges of conspiracy to kill her children JJ Vallow, seven; and Tylee Ryan, 16; as well as his doomsday preacher husband Chad Daybell’s wife Tammy Daybell.

Last year, Judge Steven Boyce banned cameras from the courtroom, citing concerns that they could prevent a fair trial. It came after Ms Vallow’s attorneys contended that one news organisation abused the privilege by repeatedly zooming in on Ms Vallow’s face during previous hearings. Prosecutors sided with the defence and said the cameras should be banned as news coverage could make it hard for the court to find an impartial jury.

A coalition of more than 30 news organisations including The Associated Press and East Idaho News asked the judge to reject the motion but the court ultimately decided that news organisations would no longer be able to shoot still photography or videos inside the courtroom.

Judge Boyce stated in his Tuesday ruling that the reasoning behind the ban loses validity upon the reaching of a verdict, allowing the court to stream the final chapter of the weeks-long trial through its YouTube channel, according to East Idaho News.

On Monday, the court heard testimony from retired FBI Agent Doug Hart, whose role in the investigation was to comb through Ms Vallow’s iCloud accounts. With more than 4,500 text messages saved to the accounts, he was able to piece together a timeline of the developing relationship between Mr Daybell and Ms Vallow over 2019.

This included the period in which Ms Vallow’s previous husband Charles Vallow was shot to death by her brother Alex Cox and she was able to pursue a romance with doomsday author Mr Daybell.

In addition to raunchy text messages — some threaded together to form a lengthy story — the couple’s bizarre beliefs about possession and zombies and rating individuals on a light-to-dark scale were laid out.

Shortly after the death of Charles Vallow on 11 July 2019, Ms Vallow and her son JJ, seven, took a trip with her niece Melani Boudreaux and her two children. It is not known if Tylee Ryan was on the trip. In texts, Mr Daybell referred to the Boudreaux children as “3s” based on where he placed them on his strange rating system.

He sent Ms Vallow a text asking if she wanted him to “cause pain” to the two 3s she was travelling with. The two believed in an ability to use their minds to cast out demons from people and “work on them”. She replied to him telling him to hold off, but added that if they started to act up again “we can zap them”.

Mr Daybell agreed and responded: “If they are going to act up, we’ll at least give them a reason to scream.”

Tylee Ryan and Joshua “JJ” Vallow (Family handout)
Tylee Ryan and Joshua “JJ” Vallow (Family handout)

JJ and Tylee vanished without a trace back in September 2019, with their mother refusing to reveal their whereabouts to authorities for many months.

One month after they were last seen alive, Tammy – an otherwise healthy 49-year-old – died suddenly and Ms Vallow and Mr Daybell soon jetted off to Hawaii to get married on the beach.

In June 2020, the remains of JJ and Tylee were found buried on the grounds of Mr Daybell’s property in Rexburg, Idaho, and the doomsday cult couple were eventually charged with murder.

Prosecutors allege that Ms Vallow and Mr Daybell conspired with Ms Vallow’s brother Alex Cox to murder Tammy, JJ and Tylee as part of their bizarre cult beliefs – but also for financial purposes so that they could collect Tammy’s life insurance money and the children’s social security and survivor benefits.

Mr Daybell will stand trial separately with a potential date of June 2024 spoken about in court.