A US mother with “doomsday” religious beliefs was sentenced Monday to life in prison without parole for murdering two of her children and conspiring to kill her husband’s ex-wife.
Lori Vallow had been found guilty in May over the deaths of her 16-year-old daughter Tylee Ryan and adopted seven-year-old son Joshua “JJ” Vallow.
“You are sentenced to the custody of the State Board of Corrections to serve the maximum allowed sentence… life imprisonment with no possibility of parole,” said Judge Steven W. Boyce, at a court in the northwestern US state of Idaho.
Vallow claimed to be a goddess charged with preparing humanity for the second coming of Jesus Christ, and said she believed she could communicate with angels.
Prosecutors alleged that she used religious beliefs to justify the murders, which became the subject of a Netflix true-crime documentary series “Sins of Our Mother,” released last year.
They also claimed there were financial motives for the crimes.
Her fifth husband, Chad Daybell — the self-published author of several apocalyptic novels — is awaiting trial over similar charges, which include the murder of his first wife, Tammy. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
The case first drew national headlines in late 2019 following the disappearance of Vallow’s children.
Vallow and Daybell never reported that the children were missing, and their bodies were found in June 2020 on property owned by Daybell in Idaho.
It also emerged that several people associated with Vallow and Daybell had died in recent years.
These included Daybell’s wife Tammy, who died ostensibly of natural causes in October 2019, just weeks before the couple moved to Hawaii.
Vallow, raised a Mormon, became increasingly radical in her religious beliefs over time.
In 2018, she met Daybell — the leader of a radical Mormon sect that was preparing for the end times — at a religious conference in Utah.
Judge Boyce on Monday ordered three consecutive, rather than concurrent, life sentences, due to the gravity of Vallow’s crimes.
“In Idaho, a life sentence is just that — a life sentence without parole,” he said
But “because there are three separate murders with three separate victims that occurred at three separate times, running the counts concurrently would not serve the interests of justice,” he said.
“You need to be held accountable separately for each of the three murders.”