Twist in 'Doomsday cult mom' case

Former prosecutor and Fox Nation host Nancy Grace said that she is perplexed over the decisions of two defense lawyers for Idaho woman Lori Vallow to abruptly quit her legal team last week.

Vallow, 46, was extradited to her home state after being arrested in Hawaii last month and charged with two counts of felony abandonment. Her two children, 17-year-old Tylee Ryan and 7-year-old JJ Vallow have been missing since September.

"Two lawyers have walked off the case," said Grace on her Fox Nation show "Crime Stories" on Thursday. "I wonder why, because just think about all the [public relations] these lawyers are getting. This could pave the way for them to expand their practice. ... That's the dream of many lawyers. And why shouldn't it be?"


"This is like being asked to do the Scott Peterson case or the Michael Jackson case or the O.J. Simpson case," Grace continued. "Yes, I think they're all guilty, but it's a defense attorney's dream."

Lawyers Edwina Elcox and Brian Webb removed themselves from her legal team on Friday with no apparent explanation for the decision.

Former felony prosecutor and criminal defense attorney Darryl Cohen told Grace that he believes that these attorneys do not want to be associated with such a disturbing case, as opposed to big city lawyers, who may be attracted to the media spotlight.

"I think we're talking different types of jurisdiction. Los Angeles, Atlanta, New York, Boston, Chicago. It would be the dream case of every lawyer who's a defense lawyer. He's going to get his or her chance for a book, be on all social media, do all the TV shows," said Cohen.

"But in a small town, in a small jurisdiction -- and I don't know that this is the case -- then that could be the scarlet letter, the stigma. I will never go to that lawyer," he concluded.

Grace disagreed with Cohen's assessment, but she did note the bizarre nature of this case.


"There is a chance that Lori Vallow tucked those children away with this crazy cult that she's allegedly part of -- this doomsday cult," said Grace, alluding to Vallow's reported involvement with a fringe, prepper group.

"And remember, she's now married to Chad Daybell, who has written we know of 25 books on the end of times," Grace added, in reference to Vallow's fourth and current husband.

Another immediate problem for Vallow is that she reportedly cannot find a bail bondsman to work with her so she can secure from release from jail, pending trial.

Vallow is currently being held in a Madison County, Idaho, jail on a $1 million bail. She would need to secure the full amount of a bond through a bail bonds company and pay $100,000, in addition to fees, in order to be released.

"Would you give her a bond? Would you help her out?" Grace asked bail bondsman Scott Hall, who is the past president of the National Association of Professional Bondsman.

"Let's look at the facts," said Hall. "She left Arizona after the suspicious death of her husband. She left Idaho after police attempted to perform a welfare check. She misled law enforcement about the whereabouts of the children. She refused a court order to produce her children. Her fourth husband's dead, her brother's dead and her current husband's wife is dead. No, I don't think I'd do that bond."

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