“Cult mom” Lori Vallow was escorted back to jail after an Idaho judge denied her request for lower bail.
Vallow appeared at the bail hearing Friday in jail garb, wearing a coronavirus mask. Her attorney and the prosecutor also had masks on in the Rexburg courtroom.
She has been charged in the disappearance of her two children and is being held on $1 million bail. Initially the bail was $5 million.
In his request for lower bail, defense attorney Mark Means argued that the pandemic was hampering his ability to communicate with Vallow behind bars, the Idaho Statesman reported.
He also claimed that his conversations with Vallow on the telephone were recorded at the Madison County Jail in violation of attorney-client privilege, the paper reported.
Means asked the judge to set bail at between $100,000 and $250,000.
Prosecutors said that nothing at the jail is recorded without proper warning, so if any conversation was recorded, the parties knew that was happening, the paper reported.
“If conversations between an attorney and client, without a warning that they are being recorded, are being recorded, then that would certainly be something that I would want to know about,” Magistrate Judge Michelle Mallard said, the Statesman reported. “But I don’t really have any evidence that is what is going on here.”
KSL-TV quoted Mallard as telling Means that he should contact other defense attorneys “about ways to surmount any virus problems at the jail in regard to communicating with clients."
The disappearance of Vallow’s children Joshua “JJ” Vallow, 7, and Tylee Ryan, 17, who were last seen in Rexburg, has drawn international attention.
Idaho police have accused Vallow of lying about their whereabouts and then fleeing the state.
In February, Vallow was arrested on child abandonment charges in Hawaii where she was living with Chad Daybell, whom she married shortly after the death of his wife, Tammy Daybell.
Reports last month quoted a letter from the Idaho Attorney General’s Office as saying that Vallow and Daybell were being investigated in connection with the death.
Vallow’s family has accused Vallow of being part of a cult with Daybell, the author of more than a dozen self-published doomsday novels.
Charles Vallow, Vallow's ex-husband, was shot and killed by her brother, Alex Cox, in Chandler, Arizona, back in July. Cox claimed self-defense.