Lori Vallow Daybell was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole Monday for the murders of her two youngest children and conspiring to kill her husband's first wife, bringing a close to the so-called "Doomsday Cult Mom" case.
This is the maximum sentence possible for Vallow Daybell, who had pleaded not guilty to the charges against her in her five-week trial. It ended in May, when a jury unanimously found the Idaho mom guilty of two counts of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder.
The case centered on bizarre claims Vallow Daybell made about her two kids, 16-year-old Tylee Ryan and 7-year-old Joshua "JJ" Vallow. She and her husband, who justified the murders using religious beliefs, claimed the two kids were "dark" and they were "light" and that she was God's vessel to rid the world of their kind.
Before the sentence was handed down, Vallow Daybell again used religion in her defense. She quoted Bible verses about how people shouldn't judge others while suggesting her dead kids and Tammy Daybell weren't murdered at all.
"Jesus Christ knows that no one was murdered in this case," she said. "Accidental deaths happen. Suicides happen. Fatal side effects from medication happen."
Others who spoke Monday focused on the grief and trauma they feel at the hands of Vallow Daybell, including her estranged oldest son Colby Ryan and Tammy Daybell's sister.
"Tylee will never have the opportunity to become a mother, wife or have the career she was destined to have. JJ will never be able to grow and spread his light with the world the way he did," the statement said. "I've lost the opportunity to share life with the people I love the most. I have lost my sister, father, brother and my mother. "I pray for healing for everyone involved, including those who took the lives of everyone we loved."
"Why? Why plan something so heinous?" Samantha Gwilliam said. "You are not exalted beings, and your behavior makes you ineligible to be one. Because of the choices you made, my family lost a beloved mother, sister and daughter.”
The two kids were last seen in September 2019, and Tammy Daybell died in October, just weeks before Vallow Daybell married her fifth husband Chad Daybell.
Tammy Daybell's autopsy showed she had been asphyxiated, and her body was bruised. When The children's bodies were found buried in Chad Daybell's yard in the summer of 2020, JJ had also been asphyxiated, and Tylee had been stabbed.
Vallow Daybell now faces two other cases in Arizona, both with a charge of conspiracy to commit murder.
One case centers on conspiring with her brother, Alex Cox, who shot and killed Vallow Daybell's fourth husband, Charles Vallow, in 2019. Cox said he acted in self-defense, and he died of natural causes before being charged.
The other case Vallow Daybell faces involves her niece's ex-husband, who survived a murder attempt the same year.
Vallow Daybell's husband, Chad Daybell, is awaiting trial on the same charges. His trial is expected to begin April 1, 2024.
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