Chad Daybell files notice of appeal, asks Idaho Supreme Court to review verdict and sentence

Chad Daybell with defense lawyer John Prior at the Ada County Courthouse in Boise, Idaho, on Saturday. A jury decided Saturday that his crimes warrant the death penalty. Daybell has filed notice to appeal verdict and sentence.

Chad Daybell with defense lawyer John Prior at the Ada County Courthouse in Boise, Idaho, on Saturday. A jury decided Saturday that his crimes warrant the death penalty. Daybell has filed notice to appeal verdict and sentence. (Kyle Green, Associated Press)


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ST. ANTHONY — Chad Daybell's attorney has filed an appeal and is asking the Idaho Supreme Court to examine his case, verdict and death sentence.

A jury sentenced Daybell to death Saturday following an eight-week trial in Ada County. Two days earlier, the same jury found him guilty of murdering his first wife, Tammy Daybell, and two children – Joshua "JJ" Vallow and Tylee Ryan – belonging to his current wife, Lori Vallow Daybell.

John Prior, Chad Daybell's attorney, filed the notice of appeal Monday. He asked the Supreme Court to consider the following issues:

  • Did Judge Steven Boyce err in not granting Daybell's motion to dismiss the grand jury indictment in the case?
  • Did Boyce err in ruling Dr. Davidson's report and testimony would be inadmissible in the case?
  • Did Boyce err in allowing the prosecution to amend their indictment after they rested?
  • Did Boyce err in denying the defense's motion to dismiss the case?
  • Did Boyce err in providing to the jury the most current jury instruction of reasonable doubt at the guilt stage?
  • Did Boyce err in providing the jury the most currently instruction of reasonable doubt at the sentencing phase?

Prior wrote he "reserves the right to amend and include additional issues" once appellate attorneys are appointed to the case.

In a separate motion, Prior requested a state appellate defense attorney be immediately appointed "to protect Mr. Daybell's right to seek appellate relief."

Prior is requesting that all case motions, records and a transcript of the trial be included in the appeal and asked for all transcript and other fees be waived because Daybell is incarcerated and indigent.

Appeals of felony convictions, especially in murder cases, are common. They must be filed within 42 days of sentencing. The Idaho Supreme Court automatically reviews each death penalty sentence imposed by trial courts, which is separate from any appeal filed by the defendant.

The appellate process can be lengthy and may take several years. The Idaho Attorney General will assign a lawyer to represent the prosecution and that attorney, along with the defense appellate attorney, will prepare written briefs and likely present oral arguments before the Idaho Supreme Court issues its decision.

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Nate Eaton

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