BOISE, Idaho (NewsNation) — An Idaho jury found Lori Vallow guilty of first-degree murder in the deaths of her two youngest children, almost-17-year-old Tylee Ryan and JJ Vallow, 7.
She was also found guilty of all other charges she faced, including conspiracy to commit first-degree murder in the case of her husband, Chad Daybell’s, previous wife Tammy, and grand theft.
Vallow sat emotionless with a blank stare looking at the jury as the guilty verdicts were read Friday at the Ada County Courthouse in Boise, Idaho. Some in the courtroom gallery wiped tears from their eyes.
The trial lasted for weeks, and more than 60 witnesses were called to testify. Vallow herself did not testify, nor did her defense team call any witnesses.
“I want to personally thank and I want to personally hug every one of those jurors,” JJ’s grandfather, Larry Woodcock, said as he addressed the media after the verdict was announced.
Vallow’s son, JJ and daughter, Tylee, went missing in September 2019, and their bodies were later found on the Idaho property of Chad Daybell. Meanwhile, Tammy Daybell died in October 2019 of what authorities initially said were “natural causes.” However, investigators got suspicious when Vallow and Chad Daybell got married just weeks after Tammy Daybell’s sudden death. A second autopsy ended up finding Tammy Daybell died of asphyxiation.
Chad Daybell also faces charges in connection to the deaths of the children and Tammy Daybell, but he and Vallow are being tried separately.
During the trial, more information came out about the apparent affair between Vallow and Chad Daybell, as well as the couple’s extreme, “cult-like” doomsday beliefs.
Chad Daybell was a follower of “Preparing a People” and took their teachings to an extreme. Speaking about “zombies” and demons possessing people, Chad Daybell would tell his followers the world was going to end.
Texts between Vallow and Chad Daybell that revealed more of these beliefs were shown at trial, including messages that spoke about Tylee and JJ’s “death percentages,” demons “possessing” the children, and relatives around the couple being “obstacles.”
Also revealed during the trial were the causes of death for JJ and Tylee, Ada County Coroner Dr. Garth Warren said JJ died of asphyxia from a plastic bag being put over his head while Tylee was declared a victim of “homicide by unspecified means.”
That term is used when a forensic pathologist examines a case and determines it was a homicide, but can’t pinpoint exactly what caused it.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.