Lori Vallow has been convicted of murder: What happens now?
“Doomsday cult mom” Lori Vallow has been found guilty of the murders of her two children and conspiracy to murder her new husband’s first wife in a case that has horrified the nation for the last three years.
Tylee Ryan, 16, and Joshua “JJ” Vallow, seven, vanished without a trace in September 2019, sparking a multi-state search while their mother jetted off to Hawaii to marry her fifth husband Chad Daybell.
The children’s bodies were finally discovered nine months later buried in a pet cemetery on Mr Daybell’s property in Idaho.
One month after the children disappeared, Mr Daybell’s wife Tammy was also murdered in her home.
At the time, her sudden death –aged 49 – was ruled natural causes until an exhumation and autopsy revealed she died by asphyxiation.
Vallow and Mr Daybell were ultimately charged over their murders, with prosecutors alleging that the couple conspired with Vallow’s brother Alex Cox to kill the victims – for both money, lust and to follow their own cult beliefs.
Cox mysteriously died three months after the children’s disappearance.
After a six-week trial, Vallow was convicted on Friday (12 May) on all charges over the deaths of Tylee, JJ and Tammy.
The verdict may mark the culmination of a chilling case that spans bizarre cult beliefs, missing children, murder and mystery deaths, but the saga is still far from over.
Here’s what’s coming next in the shocking case:
Vallow is facing life in prison at her sentencing.
The 49-year-old had been facing the death penalty before a last-minute ruling by the judge just weeks before the trial took it off the table.
Judge Steven Boyce said that the sentencing will take place within the next 90 days.
Chad Daybell’s trial
Vallow’s lover, fellow cult leader and alleged accomplice Mr Daybell is yet to stand trial for the three murders of Tylee, JJ and Tammy.
He is facing the same charges of first-degree murder, conspiracy and grand theft in connection with the deaths of JJ and Tylee and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder in the death of Tammy.
Mr Daybell is also charged with an additional count of the first-degree murder of Tammy.
Mr Daybell is facing the death penalty on the charges.
The doomsday cult couple were due to stand trial together before the judge ruled in March – just weeks before the trial was due to begin – that the cases would be severed.
While Vallow’s trial began as planned in early April, this pushed Mr Daybell’s case back to a later date.
In a scheduling conference in early May, the court set a rough date of June 2024 for his trial.
Vallow’s trial over fourth husband’s murder
Separate to her trial in Idaho, Vallow is also awaiting trial in Arizona in connection to the murder of her fourth husband Charles Vallow.
On 11 July 2019 – two months before JJ and Tylee were murdered – Vallow’s brother Alex Cox shot and killed Charles at her home in Chandler, Arizona.
Charles and Vallow had been married since 2006 and had together adopted JJ – who was the biological grandson of Vallow’s sister.
In early 2019, they became estranged with Charles filing for divorce, saying that he feared for the safety of himself and the children and that Ms Vallow had threatened to kill him.
That February, he had pleaded with authorities to stage a mental health intervention for his wife, warning that she believed she was a god preparing for a second coming.
Court documents reveal that he had also learned about Vallow’s relationship with Mr Daybell that June and had emailed Tammy with the information. He and one of Ms Vallow’s other brothers were planning an intervention over her cult beliefs at the time of his death – an intervention she is believed to have been tipped off about.
That morning, Charles had gone to Vallow’s home to pick up JJ when he was shot dead by Cox.
Cox initially claimed self-defence, saying that Charles attacked him with a baseball bat.
However, Cox did not perform CPR on Vallow and waited 43 minutes to call 911. Investigators say that Charles was also already down on the ground when Cox shot him a second time.
At the time, Charles’ death was ruled self-defence.
Almost two years later, a Maricopa County grand jury charged Vallow with conspiracy to commit murder in the first degree. She is accused of conspiring with Cox to murder Charles.
The Maricopa County Attorney’s office announced that it did not charge Mr Daybell over Charles’ murder – but only because there was “no reasonable likelihood of conviction”.