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What to know about Chad Debell, charged "doomsday" murder case

“48 Hours” will premiere “Lori Vallo Debbie: Guilty” Saturday, May 13 at 10/9c on CBS and streaming on Paramount+.

One half of a couple at the center of an Idaho murder case involving extreme religious beliefs is still facing trial His wife’s conviction. A judge halted the trial of Chad Debell and Laurie Vallo, after Debell waived his right to a speedy trial. Laurie Vallo went to the Debell trial Separately and on May 12, he was found guilty of all charges, including the murder of his two children.

What is Chad Debell charged with?

In total, Debell faces six charges.

He is charged with murder in the death of his first wife, Tammy Debell, and the deaths of his wife Lori Vallo Debell’s children, 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallo and 16-year-old Tylee Ryan.

He is charged with conspiracy to murder in all three deaths. In the deaths of JJ and Tylee, that conspiracy charge also includes conspiracy to commit grand larceny by deception. Lori Valo Debell was convicted of grand theft for taking the children’s Social Security checks after their deaths.

He pleaded not guilty. Although Boyce Valo took the death penalty off the table for Debell, who will be sentenced in about three months, it could still be a possibility for Debell.

When is Chad Debell’s trial?

Debel’s trial has not yet been scheduled. The trial judge, Steven Boyce, Ruled in March That Chad Debell and Lori Valo Debell be tried separately, a motion by Debell’s attorneys to sever the trials will be granted. Debell previously waived his right to a speedy trial.

His attorneys asked in January to delay the joint trial, initially scheduled for April, until 2024, but the judge ruled against that motion, saying Lori Valo DeBelle had not waived her right to a speedy trial. Valo Debelle’s trial begins on April 3.

Boyce said it could be delayed by more than six months, but it’s unclear when that might be.

Who are the others involved in the case?

Lori Vallo Debell, 49, had a daughter, Tylee Ryan, from a previous relationship when she married her fourth husband, Charles Vallo, in 2006. In 2012, the two adopted then 2-year-old Joshua, whose biological father was Valo’s nephew. – Son of his sister, Kay Woodcock. Joshua, known as JJ, had autism, and by all accounts he and his sister Tylee were close.


7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallo and 16-year-old Tylee Ryan

Kauai Police

Laurie Vallo and Chad Debell, now 54, met in 2018 The Vallows separated the following year with Charles Vallow filing for divorce In the divorce file, he said, his wife threatened to kill him.

“He threatened me, killed me, killed me,” she told police in a conversation captured on video, “48 Hours” reported.

Charles Vallo was killed in July 2019, after Vallo was shot in a dispute with DeBelle’s brother, Alex Cox, in Arizona, where the Vallo family — including JJ and Tylee — and Cox were living at the time. Soon after, Valo Debell and her children moved to Idaho. A Separate cases In Arizona, Vallo DeBelle is charged with conspiracy to kill Vallo. Cox died unexpectedly in late 2019.

Tylee Ryan was last seen in September 2019, when the family went on a trip to Yellowstone National Park. JJ Valo’s biological grandparents, Kay and Larry Woodcock, said they last spoke to the 7-year-old boy in August, and asked police to check on him in November.

On October 19, 2019, Tammy Debell, wife of Chad Debell and mother of his five children, died at Debell’s home in Idaho in what officials initially called natural causes but later said was suspicious. Debell told police he did not want an autopsy.

Chad Debell and Laurie Vallo married two weeks later, on November 5, 2019, in Hawaii.

By December, police and the FBI were looking for 16-year-old Tylee and 7-year-old JJ. The operation continued even through the police Valo Debel was arrested in Hawaii Two felony counts related to missing children and three other misdemeanors. He was extradited to Idaho.

The search continued into 2020, when police executed a search warrant at Debell’s property in Rexburg, Idaho. There, they find human remains, later identified as JJ and Tylee – his body covered in duct-tape and red pajamas and his body badly burned.

A photo of Tylee Ryan and JJ Valo can be seen on a fence opposite the property where their bodies were

A picture of Tylee Ryan and JJ Valo can be seen on a fence opposite the property where their bodies were found in 2020 in Rexburg, Idaho.

Natalie Behring/Getty Images

How does religion play a role?

Lori Valo Debell and Chad Debell were both members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as the Mormon Church. Debell owned a religious publishing company, and his own writings focused on fringe beliefs, including what he described as his own near-death experiences and end times.

Valo Debel, friends said, became increasingly convinced that doomsday was near. As part of that belief, he said the bodies of people — including JJ, Tylee and Charles Vallo — were possessed by evil spirits, turning them “into zombies,” former friend April Raymond told “48 Hours.”

“Part of his mission on earth was to remove the dark, the satanic – the evil,” Raymond said.

Chad Debell sits in court during the hearing

Chad Debell sits during a court hearing on Aug. 4, 2020, in St. Anthony, Idaho.

Idaho Post-Register via John Roark/AP, Poole

Debel had a religious-focused podcast in which Valo Debel appeared. The two also rallied people who shared their increasingly fervent beliefs: “48 Hours” reported Valo Debel believed he was chosen to lead the 144,000 survivors of the end times. Her late husband told police he believed she was “a resurrected being — a god,” “48 Hours” reported.

Includes Valo Debal trial Testimony about their belief in “zombies”. — occupying the bodies of those possessed by evil spirits — as well as a rating scale for past lives, end times and how close people were to death as biblical figures.

Text messages between the two included several religious elements, including the use of the names “James” and “Elena”, names the couple believed they had in past lives, during which they were also married.

What are people close to Chad DeBelle saying?

Chad Debell’s five grown children have come to their father’s defense, and said “48 hours” They are convinced of his innocence. They believe the way JJ and Tylee were found – buried shallowly – suggests their father, a former grave digger, was not involved, and that he would have been smart enough not to bury the bodies on his own property.

“He’s framed. This is his property. If he’s buried here, he’s going to be held responsible,” said his daughter Emma Murray. He blamed Valo Debell and his brother, Alex Cox, whose GPS placed him on the property the day prosecutors believe Tilley was buried.

“I think it’s pretty clear that it was Lori and Alex. … Alex came and went for a period of time. … We don’t know — exactly what he was doing,” she said.

Chad DeBelle’s children speak out in his defense


Her family also said that it was they, not their father, who decided not to have an autopsy performed on their mother.

“But he was standing there – totally shocked, traumatized, letting us make a decision. If he’s trying to hide something – I’m trying to hide something, I’m not going to leave something like that to my kids,” Murray said. .

And a source close to Valo DeBelle’s trial told CBS News that he became angry with his lawyers for trying to shift the blame to DeBelle during closing arguments.

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