January 2024

Chad Daybell lawyer can’t withdraw from Idaho murder case

Chad Daybell follows attorney John Prior into court for a hearing in 2023.

Chad Daybell follows attorney John Prior into court for a hearing in 2023.

EastIdahoNews.com file photo

Chad Daybell’s lawyer will remain on his client’s case after a judge denied a motion Thursday by the attorney to withdraw.

John Prior has been Daybell’s defense attorney since May 2021 after a grand jury indicted Daybell and his wife, Lori Vallow Daybell, on murder and conspiracy to commit murder charges for the deaths of JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan — two of Lori’s kids — and Daybell’s first wife, Tammy Daybell. Chad Daybell is also charged with two counts of insurance fraud in relation to Tammy Daybell’s life insurance policies.

Prosecutors filed their intent to pursue the death penalty in Daybell’s case in August 2021. Prior has solely represented his client since being hired nearly three years ago.

Prior argued he wanted to stay on the case but needed to withdraw because he was not a death penalty-qualified attorney, did not have enough time to prepare for trial and Daybell could no longer afford to pay him.

“I came to realize in late December that the amount of work I’m going to need to do before the trial on April 1 could not get done,” Prior told District Judge Steven Boyce. “I don’t desire to get off this case. I want to stay on this case regardless of Mr. Daybell’s financial situation.”

Prior noted he could “care less” about money but then said he believed he should get paid for his services and insisted Daybell wanted him to get paid.

“Mr. Daybell agrees with me that it’s not fair to me if I don’t get paid,” Prior said. “If the court denies my motion, I’m prepared to go forward and push this case to the end, and I’m committed to that.

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Bar complaint alleges Hunter Biden’s Hollywood lawyer, ‘sugar bro’ pal violated professional conduct rules

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Hollywood attorney and Hunter Biden confidant Patrick Kevin Morris may have violated California’s bar rules with his lavish spending on the president’s son, says a complaint by America First Legal. 

The AFL, a conservative legal group founded by former Trump White House senior adviser Stephen Miller, filed the complaint Tuesday with the State Bar of California alleging Morris violated California’s rule that prohibits a lawyer from funding the lifestyle of a client or potential client.

The complaint came ahead of Morris’ closed-door testimony to the House Oversight Committee Thursday.

Morris reportedly spent $4.9 million financially supporting the president’s son. Included in the sum was a $2 million loan for Hunter to pay off his back taxes, and $875,000 was a purchase Hunter Biden’s art. 

A Los Angeles Times story characterized Morris’s relationship with Hunter Biden as, “foremost as his lawyer, but also his friend, confidant and bankroller.” And, when Hunter Biden made a surprise visit to Capitol Hill, last week, he was flanked by Morris and his attorney Abbe Lowell. 


Hunter and his lawyers

Hunter Biden, center, and his attorneys Abbe Lowell, right, and Kevin Morris, left, leave the House Oversight and Accountability Committee markup titled “Resolution Recommending That The House Of Representatives Find Robert Hunter Biden In Contempt Of Congress,” on Wednesday, January 10, 2024. (Tom Williams)

“However, if Mr. Morris has provided personal

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Russian pro-war activist and Putin critic detained over alleged terrorism offenses, his lawyer says

Sergei Udaltsov, a Russian pro-war activist and critic of President Vladimir Putin, was remanded into custody Thursday over alleged terrorism offenses, his lawyer told the Russian state news agency Tass.

Udaltsov is the leader of the Left Front, a group of political parties that oppose Putin and are affiliated with the Communist Party.

He was prominent during the 2011-12 protests that saw the biggest demonstrations in Russia since the collapse of the Soviet Union, and was briefly allied with now-imprisoned opposition politician Alexei Navalny.

While multiple activists, lawyers and opposition figures have been detained and jailed in Russia since the invasion of Ukraine, Udaltsov stands out from them as he has supported the war and the annexation of Crimea, while remaining critical of Putin.

On Thursday, Udaltsov wrote on his Telegram social media channel that police were banging on his door to search his home.

His lawyer, Violetta Volkova, told Tass that electronic devices were confiscated during the search, that a criminal case was opened against Udaltsov for “justifying terrorism” and that he was taken away for questioning and remanded into custody.

Volkova told Tass he likely will appear in court on Friday and that if he is charged and found guilty, he could face up to seven years in prison. She previously told Tass that she did not know what the criminal case is connected with.

In December, a Moscow court sentenced Udaltsov to 40 hours of compulsory labor for violating procedures relating to organizing a rally after he was detained on Red Square, where he tried to unfurl a flag with the image of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, Tass said.

Udaltsov was previously imprisoned in 2014 and sentenced to 4½ years on charges related to his role in organizing a 2012 demonstration against Putin that turned violent. He

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‘We don’t even know where the kid is’

Lance Jasper had hoped his client, Shanna ManyWounds, would be reunited with her 5-year-old son in time for Christmas.

Instead, ManyWounds, of Elmo, doesn’t even know if her child is still in the country, according to Jasper, her lawyer., the Daily Montanan reports.

“Seeing Shanna at Christmas with an empty house and presents for her son that are going to go unopened, it’s gut-wrenching,” Jasper said in an interview last week.

In late October, Jasper and lawyer Spencer MacDonald, both of Missoula, made an emergency request that the Montana Supreme Court take over a child custody case from Lake County District Court.

They agreed to represent ManyWounds, largely pro bono, after reading a transcript of a child custody hearing in September that resulted in a “draconian transition” for the child, a description the lawyers used in a court filing.

At the hearing, Judge Kim Christopher ordered the child to be immediately taken away from his mother, who had raised him, and be placed with his father, who had visited the child only four days a year.

Neither parent had proposed that plan.

The judge, however, argued the change would build the child’s “stress muscles,” remove him from an overly controlling “helicopter” mother, and give the father an equal chance to parent, for the next five years.

Last week, Jasper said the wait for an order has been excruciating for his client and confusing for him. In district court, he said, orders on emergency filings typically come out within one or two days.

At the very least, he said, part of the emergency in this case comes from the district court’s decision to prevent the mother from contacting her son, which he said is detrimental to both.

In their petition, the lawyers argue that prohibition made an already traumatic situation for

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