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

The ruling allows Kay Woodcock to attend the trial daily

Larry Woodcock was not included as a victim in the case

Posted at 11:30 AM, April 6, 2023 and last updated 6:51 AM, April 7, 2023

By: Karen Lehr

BOISE, Idaho (KIVI) — 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.

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.

J.J. and Tylee (National Center for Missing & Exploited Children via AP, File)

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.

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“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.

FILE – In this Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020 file photo Kay and Larry Woodcock speak to members of the media at the Rexburg Standard Journal Newspaper in Rexburg, Idaho. The Woodcocks are offering $20,000 for information that leads to the recovery of Joshua Vallow and Tylee Ryan, who were last seen in September 2019. Their mother, Lori Vallow, also known as Lori Daybell, 47, was arrested Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020, in Hawaii on a warrant issued by Madison County, Idaho, and was being held on $5-million bail. (John Roark/The Idaho Post-Register via AP, File)

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.

WATCH: Lori Vallow Daybell Wants Kids’ Grandparents Banned From Court

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 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.

This story was originally published on April 6 by KIVI in Boise, an E.W. Scripps Company.