Woodcocks speak ahead of Vallow Daybell trial; judge still deciding if they can sit in court

Apr 2, 2023, 10:23 PM | Updated: Apr 4, 2023, 3:42 pm

ADA COUNTY, Idaho — Walking into the Ada County Courthouse this week for Kay and Larry Woodcock will be a huge moment they’ve been patiently waiting for.

“It’s just mixed emotions,” Kay Woodcock said over Zoom from the couple’s home in Louisiana.

Click here for complete coverage of the Lori Vallow Daybell trial

“It’s the accumulation of four years of us living this every day,” Larry Woodcock said.

She described feeling unsettled now that Lori Vallow Daybell’s trial is here and afraid of the new details they’ll undoubtedly learn in the murder of their grandson, 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow.

Vallow Daybell’s adopted son was killed, police believe, weeks after the murder of Vallow Daybell’s daughter Tylee Ryan, who was killed days before her 17th birthday in September 2019.

In June 2020, the children’s remains were discovered on the property of Chad Daybell, Vallow Daybell’s new husband. His late wife, Tammy Daybell, died weeks after Tylee. Here death was later investigated as a homicide. The couple was charged in all three murders and will be tried separately.

JJ Vallow’s grandparents fight claim they shouldn’t be allowed to watch Lori Vallow Daybell trial

The Woodcocks planned to sit in court every single day for the duration of Vallow Daybell’s trial, but that’s if they can get inside.

The couple is still waiting on Judge Steven Boyce to decide if they’re allowed to watch witness testimony because they’re testifying themselves. Vallow Daybell’s attorneys argued the Woodcocks do not fall under the legal definition of victims, whereas prosecutors argued they do.

The Woodcocks hired a lawyer not only to urge Boyce to rule they deserve seats, but also to ask him to appoint Kay Wookcock as JJ’s representative — seeing as she was his biological grandmother.

The Woodcocks were already upset Boyce took the death penalty off the table less than two weeks before the trial’s start.

“The judge is, we felt, with his death penalty dismissal, was a slap in the kids’ face, and a slap in Tammy’s face,” Kay said.

Idaho judge deciding if JJ Vallow’s grandparents can sit in on Lori Vallow Daybell trial

As they await the judge’s next decision, Kay Woodcock knows she can at least look toward another huge moment: Facing Vallow Daybell from the witness stand.

“I cannot wait to testify,” she said. “And I can’t wait to look her in her eyes, for the first time in four years.”

The Woodcocks plan to start attending court mid-week and will not be in town for the first day, which is slated for jury selection. The courtroom is closed to the public during jury selection. Boyce indicated that he would issue a decision on if the Woodcocks can attend the trial early in the week.

The couple said for them, this is about justice for the kids, and for Tammy Daybell.

“I pray that this is a fair trial for everybody,” Larry Woodcock said. “And I hope that it’s a harsh, fair sentence.”

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Woodcocks speak ahead of Vallow Daybell trial; judge still deciding if they can sit in court