ST. ANTHONY — JJ Vallow’s grandparents are excited, relieved and ready to look Lori Vallow Daybell in the eyes after a judge ruled she is now fit for trial.
Larry and Kay Woodcock admit they were stunned when they learned the news Monday morning but never doubted that Daybell would one day face a jury on murder charges.
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“To me, what it proves is that she has played the system her whole life, and she can’t play it anymore,” Larry Woodcock tells EastIdahoNews.com. “I never believed that she was incompetent. I know her better than that. I truly believe she played the system the whole time.”
Daybell and her husband Chad Daybell are charged with multiple counts of conspiracy to commit murder and first-degree murder in relation to the deaths of 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow, 16-year-old Tylee Ryan — two of Lori’s kids — and Chad’s first wife, Tammy Daybell. In Arizona, Lori is charged with conspiracy to commit murder in connection with the death of her previous husband Charles Vallow, Kay’s brother.
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Daybell’s case in Idaho has been on hold since June, when she was declared incompetent for trial. District Judge Steven Boyce issued an order Monday saying she is now fit to proceed and ordered that Daybell be released from a Department of Health and Welfare facility in northern Idaho where she has been undergoing treatment since last summer.
Lori Vallow Daybell will soon be transported back to the Madison County Jail where Fremont County female inmates are housed.
Larry Woodcock, who turns 75 years old on Tuesday, says the ruling is the best birthday present he could have been given this year.
“Now that they’re both going to be sitting in a court across that (barrier) from me and Kay and our family – at some point in time, she is going to have to look at us,” Larry says. “I’m not going to give her one inch. I’m going to be right there behind her, just like I did with Chad.”
The Woodcocks plan to travel to Fremont County from their Louisiana home on Tuesday, April 19, when Daybell is scheduled for her arraignment. They have not seen her since a court appearance in March 2020 after Daybell was arrested in Hawaii and flown to eastern Idaho.
It’s unknown what type of treatments or medications Daybell has been prescribed over the past 10 months to help restore her competency, but Kay Woodcock believes Daybell likely hasn’t changed much.
“My guess is she is just in her own little world … not in a sick delusional way, but in a strong-willed, ‘I’m not guilty, and Chad and I did what was right. And that way I don’t have to ever face the fact that I murdered my two kids and my husband,’” Kay says. “I don’t know that she’ll ever realize or ever admit her guilt.”
Since Lori and Chad were arrested two years ago, the Woodcocks have patiently waited “for the dominoes to fall.” Although the COVID-19 pandemic and other factors caused delays in court proceedings, the couple says it’s been a blessing in disguise.
“I think it’s given us time to prepare emotionally for a lot of horrific things we’re going to learn,” Kay says. “We’re being given time to prepare. I’m better than I was, (Larry’s) better than he was. It’s a daily struggle still, but it’s OK.”
Once Daybell is arraigned, prosecutors have 60 days to declare if they will pursue the death penalty against her. They are pursuing the death penalty against Chad Daybell, and the Woodcocks say they don’t care what punishment the duo receives as long as they are never free again.
“We’re going to be here. We are not giving up. I will never give up until I close my casket and then if I find her or him (Lori or Chad) after that, then I’ll do what I have to do to them,” Larry says.
Kay adds, “I want her to feel us breathing down her neck.”
Watch our entire interview with Larry and Kay Woodcock in the video player above.
The post ‘She is going to have to look at us.’ Grandparents preparing to face Lori Vallow Daybell as she is now fit for trial appeared first on East Idaho News.