An Idaho jury in the murder trial of “Doomsday Mom” Lori Vallow Daybell will begin deliberating whether she killed her two children after both sides delivered closing arguments Thursday afternoon.
The court handed the case over to jurors just after 2 p.m. after both the prosecution and the defense tried one last time to sway them, KUTV reported.
The prosecutor said the case was about “money, power and sex” and painted Vallow Daybell as a manipulative woman who planned to kill her children.
Her defense attorney said she was a good mother who was deceived by her husband Chad Daybell and blinded by her love for him.
Vallow Daybell, 49, is facing nine counts including first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, grand theft by deception and insurance fraud for the September 2019 deaths of her kids Tylee Ryan, 16, and Joshua “JJ” Vallow, 7.
The children were found buried in Daybell’s backyard.
She is also accused of playing a role in the murder of Daybell’s late wife Tammy Daybell, who died the following month.
Madison County prosecutor Rob Wood said the mom continuously lied about the whereabouts of her children after others noticed they were missing when both were actually buried in shallow graves in Daybell’s Idaho property.
Wood again showed the jurors graphic images of the children’s remains which were unearthed in June 2020.
Tylee’s body was burned so severely, medical examiners were unable to determine a cause of death while JJ was suffocated, thrown into a black bag and buried in Daybell’s pet cemetery “like a piece of trash,” Wood said.
He said Vallow Daybell manipulated Daybell with sex to help her kill her children in order to start a new life together without “obstacles,” according to their text exchanges.
However, her defense attorney Jim Archibold said Daybell, the author of apocalyptic writings, was the one who manipulated Vallow Daybell in his closing arguments, according to a local outlet.
Archibold questioned why Vallow Daybell would have hired a babysitter for JJ or enrolled him in school if she had been planning to kill him a week later and pointed out that she didn’t take out life insurance policies on the children. He said she lied only to protect Daybell.
“The only thing that makes sense to me is that she didn’t have a plan,” Archibald said. “She wanted to be with Chad. They were obviously having an affair…But there was no plan by Lori to kill her kids.”
Daybell will be tried on similar charges for the children’s murders at a later date.
In an attempt to dispel the notion that his client’s hair being found on a piece of duct tape used to wrap JJ’s body up was a smoking gun, Archibald said a mother’s hair is often found on their children.
“I would hope that your hair” is on your kids’ pajamas, socks, and blankets, he said, according to KUTV.
The jury’s verdict will be live-streamed on the court’s YouTube channel once the jury comes to a decision, Judge Steven Boyce announced earlier this week.
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