An Idaho woman charged with conspiring with her new husband to kill her two children has been committed to a mental health facility for treatment, and her husband has pleaded not guilty to the crimes.
Chad Daybell entered his plea Wednesday morning in an eastern Idaho courtroom, less than 24 hours after 7th District Judge Steven Boyce signed the mental commitment order for Lori Daybell.
The couple is at the center of a grim saga involving bizarre doomsday beliefs and a months-long search for two missing children who were later found buried in an eastern Idaho yard. Lori Daybell and Chad Daybell were each indicted by a grand jury last month on charges of conspiracy, murder and grand theft in connection with the deaths of Lori Daybell’s two youngest children, 7-year-old JJ Vallow and 17-year-old Tylee Ryan.
Chad Daybell was also charged with one count of murder and insurance fraud in connection with the death of his late wife, Tammy Daybell, just weeks before his marriage to the co-defendant.
Chad Daybell pleaded not guilty to all those charges, plus charges related to the destruction or concealment of the children’s bodies.
The judge signed an order Tuesday afternoon ordering Lori Daybell to be committed to a mental health care facility for treatment for up to three months, in hopes of making her competent to stand trial. Idaho state law doesn’t allow for an insanity defense to criminal charges. But after a psychological assessment, the court found Lori Daybell wasn’t able to assist in her own defense or make informed decisions about her mental health treatment. (AP)