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Judge and 2 Lawyers Step Down in Lori Vallow Daybell Case as Court Date is Delayed Until May

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The judge presiding over the case of Lori Vallow Daybell, the mother of two missing Idaho children, has stepped down, and two of her attorneys say they will withdraw from representing her. 

Lori, 46, was scheduled to appear in court for a preliminary hearing this week before Magistrate Judge Faren Eddins. After her attorney filed a motion to disqualify Eddins and a waiver to delay her preliminary hearing, both her court date and the judge on the case were changed.

Lori is now scheduled to appear at a preliminary hearing on May 7 and May 8 before Magistrate Judge Michelle Radford Mallard. In the meantime, she remains in jail on $1 million bond.

The ongoing search for Lori's two children, Joshua "JJ" Vallow, 7, and Tylee Ryan, 17, continues against the backdrop of the ongoing coronavirus crisis in the U.S. Idaho has nine confirmed coronavirus cases so far, according to its state health website, including one in Madison County, where Lori is being held.

Lori faces two counts of felony desertion of a child in the disappearance of JJ and Tylee, who were last seen in September. She also faces misdemeanor charges of resisting and obstructing an officer, solicitation of a crime and contempt, according to the Madison County, Idaho, prosecutor's office. Lori has denied all allegations of wrongdoing.

During a hearing Friday, Eddins, the previous judge, agreed to step down. Under Idaho Criminal Rule 25, both the defendant and the state have the right to file a motion to disqualify a judge. 

"Every defendant has a right to disqualify at least one judge, without cause, without reason, just because," Eddins said during Friday's hearing. 

During that hearing, one of Lori's attorneys, Brian Webb, told Eddins via telephone he would be filing a motion to withdraw, along with attorney Edwina Elcox. Mark Means is now the sole attorney representing Lori.

Elcox, Webb and Means did not respond to InsideEdition.com's requests for comment. 

Lori was extradited from Hawaii to Idaho to face charges March 5. That same day, the FBI released new photos of Tylee and JJ from a trip to Yellowstone National Park they took with their mother and uncle just before they disappeared. That Sept. 8, 2019 trip to Yellowstone was the last time anyone saw Tylee. 

JJ was last seen at his elementary school in Rexburg, Idaho, on Sept. 23, according to authorities. 

The Rexburg Police Department asks anyone with information regarding JJ and Tylee's whereabouts or welfare to contact the department at 1-208-359-3000 or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) at 1-800-THE-LOST.  

JJ has brown hair and brown eyes, is 4 feet tall and weighs 50 pounds. He has autism and "may be in need of medical attention," according to authorities. Tylee has blonde hair and blue eyes, is 5 feet tall and weighs 160 pounds. 

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