The August preliminary hearings for Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow will be held in person, according to new court documents.
Judge Faren Eddins signed two documents on Wednesday ordering both defendants’ upcoming preliminary hearing to take place in-person. Daybell’s will be at the Fremont County Courthouse and Vallow’s will be at the Madison County Courthouse.
Though an Idaho Supreme Court Order made April 22 mandated that court proceedings should be held remotely, “a presiding judge may, in the exercise of discretion and after making findings on the record, determine that proceeding must be held in person because of the court’s needs or to prevent undue prejudice to party.”
Eddins wrote that both defendants had a right to be present during the preliminary hearing and a right to “confront and cross examine witnesses in person.” Eddins wrote he believed it would be safe since the courtroom is large enough to allow for social distancing and that a plastic plexiglass had been “installed along the bench and the witness stand to protect the health of hearing participants.”
The decisions come after last week saw both Daybell and Vallow appear before Eddins for arraignment remotely via Zoom.
Daybell’s preliminary hearing is set for Aug. 3 and Aug 4. Vallow’s preliminary hearing is now set for Aug. 10 and Aug. 11.
Both face two felony counts of concealment of evidence and involve the cover up of up the deaths of Vallow’s two minor children, J.J. Vallow and Tylee Ryan.
The maximum punishment for each felony includes up to “five years imprisonment and/or up to (a) $10,000 fine.”
Attorney John Prior filed a court document stating Daybell would plead not guilty to his charges, according to court records dated June 12.