A newly resurfaced video shows the moment “doomsday cult mom” Lori Vallow was served court orders to produce her children, who had been killed four months before, while vacationing at a pool resort in Hawaii.
The video was shown during Ms Vallow’s ongoing trial for charges of first-degree murder, conspiracy, and grand theft over the deaths of her daughter Tylee Ryan, 16, son Joshua “JJ” Vallow, 7, and her new husband Chad Daybell’s first wife Tammy, 49. It was not immediately available to the public as cameras are banned from the courtroom — with most of the evidence to be released once the trial is finalised — but a copy of the video was exclusively obtained by Fox 10 Phoenix.
In the clip, Ms Vallow and Mr Daybell can be seen lounging in chairs at a resort in Kauai on 25 January 2020. JJ and Tylee vanished without a trace back in September 2019, with their mother refusing to reveal their whereabouts to authorities for many months.
“How’s it going? Are you Chad and Lori?” a person is heard saying after handing Ms Vallow Vallow a court order from Madison County, Idaho, to produce her children to the Department of Health and Welfare within a week. “Ms Vallow, you’ve been served.”
Ms Vallow, wearing a blue bikini and sunglasses, then asked: “Do you need something from me?”
When the court servers asked her if she had any questions, she said no. Ms Vallow was arrested on 21 January on charges of child abandonment and desertion. The children’s bodies were then discovered on Mr Daybell’s property on 9 June 2020.
JJ’s body was found in a black plastic bag wrapped in duct tape, near a tree while Tylee’s remains were found a short distance away buried in the pet cemetery. Her body had been dismembered and burned in a fire pit.
On Tuesday, Ms Vallow’s defence rested their case without presenting any witnesses, with closing arguments expected to begin on Thursday.
Ms Vallow’s attorneys, prosecutors and Judge Steven Boyce will meet privately on Wednesday to discuss jury instructions.
Judge Boyce has ruled that the court will stream the verdict of the high-profile case once it’s reached.
Last year, Judge Steven Boyce banned cameras from the courtroom, citing concerns that they could prevent a fair trial. It came after Ms Vallow’s attorneys contended that one news organisation abused the privilege by repeatedly zooming in on Ms Vallow’s face during previous hearings. Prosecutors sided with the defence and said the cameras should be banned as news coverage could make it hard for the court to find an impartial jury.
A coalition of more than 30 news organisations, including the Associated Press and East Idaho News, asked the judge to reject the motion but the court ultimately decided that news organisations would no longer be able to shoot still photography or videos inside the courtroom.
Judge Boyce stated in his Tuesday ruling that the reasoning behind the ban loses validity upon the reaching of a verdict, allowing the court to stream the final chapter of the weeks-long trial through its YouTube channel, according to East Idaho News.