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Judge rules victim's grandmother can attend Lori Vallow Daybell trial

Victim's grandfather can attend after testifying
Posted at 9:01 AM, Apr 06, 2023

BOISE, Idaho — A judge has ruled JJ Vallow’s biological grandmother, Kay Woodcock, will be permitted to attend the trial for Lori Vallow Daybell, among other family members. Grandfather, Larry Woodcock, will only be permitted following his testimony.

The eastern Idaho mom is accused of killing 7-year-old JJ and his 17-year-old sister, Tylee Ryan, in September 2019. She’s also charged with conspiring to kill her husband’s Chad Daybell’s previous wife, Tammy Daybell in October 2019.

The order outlines three family members who the judge feels qualify as legal "victims" in the case, allowing them in the courtroom during testimony. That includes JJ Vallow's biological grandmother, Kay Woodcock — Lori's other son, Colby Ryan — and Lori's sister, Summer Shiflet.

JJ's grandfather and Kay's husband, Larry Woodcock, was not outlined as a legal victim in the case.

"This means that Larry Woodcock is precluded from observing trial testimony prior to the testimony he offers at trial. He may however observe all proceedings where testimony is not being offered, and upon the completion of his testimony, he would be permitted to observe the remainder of the trial," the order states.

Kay Woodcock will be there as JJ Vallow's representative, since JJ's adoptive father, Charles Vallow, is deceased. Kay is Charles' sister.

Summer Shiflet will be allowed in the courtroom as Tylee Ryan's representative, since her father is deceased and her mother is the defendant.

Jury selection in the case is still underway with opening arguments scheduled to start in Ada County on Monday morning.

The written ruling comes more than a week after an Ada County hearing where the defense and prosecution argued which family members should be formally considered “victims” in the case, and therefore excluded from Judge Steve Boyce’s order which prohibits witnesses from listening in to other testimony prior to taking the stand.

Last Wednesday, Madison County Prosecutor Rob Wood argued the court's interpretation of a victim should include anyone who has suffered emotional harm as the result of an offense. He narrowed in on the Woodcocks, who he believes fit the definition and should be allowed to watch the entirety of the trial.

The Woodcocks are the ones who originally alerted law enforcement in 2019 when they hadn’t seen or heard from their grandson, JJ Vallow, in months.

The Woodcocks have spoken out to our partners at East Idaho News, saying they felt heartbroken and blindsided that this was brought into question. They hired an attorney to fight for a seat in the courtroom. The couple lives out of state and made arrangements to attend the entire trial in Boise, which could take two months.