IDAHO, USA — An attorney who's been representing Lori Vallow Daybell since she was first brought into custody in Idaho is now off the case.
Court documents filed Tuesday evening revealed Judge Steven Boyce disqualified attorney Mark Means from the case, meaning he can no longer represent Vallow Daybell. Means was Vallow Daybell's privately attained attorney.
Vallow Daybell and her husband Chad Daybell are currently facing several felony charges in Idaho, including first-degree murder charges in the deaths of her kids, Tylee and JJ.
The court order stated a myriad of reasons that led to the decision to disqualify Means.
The prosecution had been raising concerns for months over potential conflict of interest in the matter. The documents said that Means originally represented both Lori Vallow Daybell and Chad Daybell. An earlier judge established that there was a conflict, but it could be waived. Now that the couple is facing several felonies and are listed as co-conspirators, Judge Boyce finds that the conflict can no longer be waived.
Also, in Idaho, Means is not qualified to work on death penalty cases. The court pointed out that it's likely Lori Vallow Daybell's case could turn into a capital case. The prosecution already filed its intent to seek the death penalty in Chad Daybell's case. Lori Vallow Daybell's case stayed in May after she was found not competent to proceed with the trial. She's currently undergoing a mental health evaluation. Her case can proceed once competency is restored.
Additionally, Judge Boyce wrote in his order that, "Mr. Means has potentially made himself witness in the case, by filing multiple pleadings in the form of declarations, containing factual assertions of Mr. Means submitted under penalty of perjury. That unusual manner of practice has further caused the Court to be concerned about the effectiveness of Mr. Means’ representation of Vallow in the case."
Lori Vallow Daybell is still represented by Jim Archibald, who came on as court-appointed co-counsel in August 2021. Archibald is qualified to work on capital cases.
12 News reached out to Mark Means' office but has yet to hear back.
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