(NewsNation) — The death penalty has been removed in the trial for Lori Vallow Daybell, the woman accused in a strange doomsday-focused triple murder case involving her children, according to multiple reports.
East Idaho News reports District Judge Steven Boyce ruled to dismiss the death penalty Tuesday as an option ahead of Vallow’s trial “to ensure the rights of the defendant to a fair trial are protected.” KTVB reports Judge Boyce said there was a late disclosure of evidence by prosecutors, which could potentially turn over the case on an appeal if there happened to be a capital conviction in the case.
Vallow and Chad Daybell have pleaded not guilty to murder, conspiracy and grand theft charges related to the deaths of Vallow’s children, 7-year-old JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan, who was last seen days before her 17th birthday. The children went missing in 2019 and were found dead on Chad Daybell’s property.
Daybell and Vallow are also charged in connection to the 2019 death of Daybell’s late wife, Tammy Daybell.
Prosecutors Rob Wood and Lindsay Blake told East Idaho News they are “disappointed” and “disagree” with the judge’s ruling on the death penalty dismissal for Vallow, but “will continue to vigorously pursue justice for Tammy, Tylee and JJ.”
Authorities investigating the killings determined Vallow and Daybell were part of a doomsday preparation group and that Vallow had written books about the end of the world.
While the couple has since maintained their innocence in the alleged murders, their trials have been severed. Daybell waived his right to a speedy trial to give his attorneys more time to review evidence. At this time, Tuesday’s death penalty dismissal only applies to Vallow’s case.
Vallow did not waive her right to a swift trial. She is set to face her trial on April 3.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.