Report: Lori Vallow Daybell’s request for new trial denied

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BOISE, Idaho — East Idaho News reports that Lori Vallow Daybell was back in court on Thursday. Her attorneys filed a motion calling for a new trial based on three arguments.

The first argument made by the defense is that the jury was “impermissibly mislead” in the jury instructions prior to their deliberations, citing an interview between Nate Eaton at East Idaho News and Juror #8 shortly after the trial ended. The juror made reference to finding the instructions potentially confusing, however the state points out that later in the interview he clarified that he was not confused by the instructions and understood what he was there to do.

The next argument reported by East Idaho News is that the defense claims an alteration to the indictment, changing “and” to “and/or” was improper and confusing to both the juror and to Daybell herself. The defense argues that this was not an appropriate alteration to the indictment and it came just before the state rested their case, meaning for nearly 7 weeks the jury and the defendant were told one thing, then at the end told another.

The final prong of the defense’s arguments rested on changing the definition of conspiracy in the indictment from 5 coconspirators to at least 2. Daybell was charged with conspiracy to commit murder, and the original indictment said that Lori, Chad, Alex, and at least 2 others conspired to commit these crimes. Prior to the state resting its case, the indictment was changed to say at least 2 others, meaning Chad and Alex, leaving room for others.

Judge Boyce made a ruling on the motion after a twenty minute break. East Idaho News reports that Boyce denied the motion for a new trial altogether. Boyce reportedly said that the interview was never entered as evidence and he cannot consider any of the information therein because it is not evidence. Boyce stated that each day the jury signed an affirmation that they had not received outside information on the trial, been prejudiced in anyway, and that they were clear in their understanding of the rules.

Boyce reportedly went on to say that the changes to the indictment are allowed under Idaho law until the state rests, and that the clarification of “and” to “and/or” has not been proven to be a substantive change that would have confused or mislead the jury. Nor, would the changing of the indictment to 2 coconspirators from 5, as the conspiracy itself was the charge and she was found guilty based on the evidence presented that showed at least 2 other people conspired with her to commit murder.

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