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Grandfather of Lori Vallow’s murdered son brands Chad Daybell a ‘wimp’ ahead of trial

Jury selection for Chad Daybell’s trial is scheduled to begin 1 April in Ada County, Idaho

Andrea Cavallier
Monday 25 March 2024 18:30 GMT
Related video: Lori Vallow’s husband cornered and quizzed on whereabouts of kids

Almost one year after “doomsday cult mom” Lori Vallow was convicted of killing her two children and conspiring to murder her love rival, the victim’s family members will return to the same Idaho courtroom to see her husband Chad Daybell go on trial for the slayings.

Larry Woodcock, the grandfather of Lori Vallow’s murdered seven-year-old son JJ Vallow, told East Idaho News in a recent interview that he and his wife Kay will be once again traveling from their Louisiana home to Idaho for the proceedings.

Mr Woodcock said he believes prosecutors will prove their case against the alleged cult leader, who he described as a “wimp of a man”.

“I’m totally confident that he’ll be found guilty,” Mr Woodcock said.

“If you took a picture of Chad on April 1 in court and you found a picture of him four years ago when he was in court, I don’t think there’s any change.

“His demeanour hasn’t changed, his attitude hasn’t changed – he’s so blasé and just a wimp of a man.”

Mr Daybell, who married Lori Vallow two weeks after his wife Tammy Daybell died in October 2019, is charged with conspiracy to commit murder and first-degree murder in the deaths of Lori Vallow’s children, Tylee Ryan, 16, and Joshua “JJ” Vallow, 7, and his wife Tammy. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges and is scheduled to stand trial on 1 April.

Chad Daybell’s trial is scheduled to begin April 1 in Ada County, Idaho (Post Register)

The children vanished without a trace in September 2019, sparking a multi-state search while Vallow appeared carefree – marrying her new husband Chad Daybell on a beach in Hawaii.

The children’s bodies were finally discovered nine months later buried in a pet cemetery on Mr Daybell’s property in Idaho. Their disappearances and deaths mark only part of a dramatic case that spans a deeply disturbing pattern of murders, unexplained deaths and bizarre cult beliefs about killing zombies.

In May 2023, Vallow was found guilty of murdering her two children, as well as conspiring to kill Tammy Daybell, and is serving three life sentences without the possibility of parole.

She is currently in an Arizona jail awaiting trial on charges of conspiracy to murder her fourth husband Charles Vallow and her former nephew-in-law Brandon Boudreaux. That trial is scheduled to begin in August.

Larry Woodcock hugs an attendee after the verdict was read in the Lori Vallow trial last year (AP)

After spending nearly every day of Vallow’s weeks-long trial in Ada County courtroom, the Woodcocks said they know Mr Daybell’s trial will be different.

Mr Woodcock pointed out that while he had a lot of anger towards Vallow, he does not know Mr Daybell as well.

“I was angry at Lori — that she would do something and participate in something like this,” he explained.

“I really don’t have a lot of feelings about Chad. I’m angry at him, sure, and I certainly share no love for him. But it’s just a really different set of feelings.”

Daybell has been transported from Fremont County to the Ada County Jail ahead of the highly-anticipated trial, which is expected to last eight to 10 weeks. Previously, Judge Steven Boyce granted a request to move the trial from Fremont County due to publicity.

Unlike Vallow’s trial, which attracted large crowds of spectators and true crime enthusiasts from all over the world, Mr Daybell’s proceedings will be livestreamed from Judge Boyce’s YouTube page.

Tylee Ryan and Joshua ‘JJ’ Vallow vanished without a trace in September 2019, sparking a multi-state search (Family handout)

If he is found guilty, he could be sentenced to life in prison or could face the death penalty.

Mr Woodcock said he hopes Mr Daybell is given life without parole.

“There are certain things in life I think are worse than death. Life in prison without the possibility of ever getting out and dying in prison may be worse than death,” Mr Woodcock said.

“I certainly don’t wish him the best.”

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