Prosecutor wants Chad Daybell’s attorney to tell him who was conducting a survey about the case

EastIdahoNews.com file photo

ST. ANTHONY — Special Prosecutor Rob Wood wants Chad Daybell’s attorney to hand over information after a survey that was performed last year in Fremont County.

Wood filed a motion to compel for attorney John Prior to provide the name of the person who conducted the survey among Fremont County residents last summer. The purpose was to gather information about moving the trial to another county.

Wood previously asked for the identity of the person who performed the survey.

“Chad Daybell responded to the State’s specific request with a one-word response of ‘none,’” Wood wrote in the new motion filed this week. “The Defendant has refused to provide the State with the name of the witness and other requested information he is required to provide.”

In August, three people in Fremont County told EastIdahoNews.com that a woman approached them and said she had been hired by a Boise firm to conduct surveys about the case.

The woman asked if they had heard of Chad and Lori Daybell, if they thought the couple is guilty and if anything might change their minds during a trial.

The Daybells have pleaded not guilty to felonies related to the alterations, destruction and concealment of the bodies of 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow and 16-year-old Tylee Ryan, two of Lori’s children. Investigators found the remains buried in the backyard of Chad’s Salem home in June 2020.

This is the latest argument over discovery in the Daybell case. Lori Daybell’s attorney, Mark Means, filed his own motion to compel in January for Wood to hand over information related to communication involving a list of individuals associated with the case.

At a hearing on Feb. 17, District Judge Steven Boyce ruled Wood must provide a response on whether he has discussed the case with the people on the list and provide information on what was learned in individual interviews.

Defense attorneys say it would be unfair for their clients to keep the trial in Fremont County and that finding an unbiased jury would be nearly impossible. A change of venue hearing is scheduled for March 22.