Woodcocks in Idaho when Lori Vallow Daybell found unfit for trial

Updated: May. 27, 2021 at 7:49 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) -The grandparents of J.J. Vallow are disappointed the case against Lori Vallow Daybell is basically on hold until competency issues are resolved. But they do expect the case to move forward. A judge found her unfit to stand trial after the defense had her evaluated. But the prosecution contests the finding of incompetency and will have her examined by their expert.

Earlier this week Vallow Daybell and her husband, Chad Daybell, were indicted on charges of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder and grand theft for allegedly continuing to receive and use J.J. and Tylee’s social security money after the children were already dead.

The Woodcocks are in Rexburg, Idaho where the murder and conspiracy indictments were made public this week. It’s been a trying and emotional time for the couple.

It’s almost one year since the remains of J.J. Vallow and Tylee Ryan were found buried on the property of their mother’s new husband.

Grandparents Kay and Larry Woodcock were in Idaho when the indictments were made public:

“It was completely bittersweet and it just broke our hearts,” said Kay.

“Things went from being molasses fast to warp speed fast in a number of hours,” said Larry.

They are disappointed the case against Lori is stayed until the issue of her fitness to stand trial is resolved.

“It’s dragging it out. Her incompetency filing today all that’s stalling us getting his body back and it’s just torturous. It really is,” said Kay. They hope to have a local service for J.J. when possible.

The prosecution has sixty days to declare whether they will seek the death penalty if the Daybells are convicted. Both -- Woodcocks have mixed feelings.

“I want the death penalty, but on the other hand, if this case is going to go on forever for years and years,” said Larry.

“I want the death penalty but that is subject to change the more we learn,” said Kay.

The indictments came on what would have been J.J.’s 9th birthday. If they could talk to him, said Larry: “The first thing that I want to say to J.J. Is ‘happy birthday little man.’”

The Woodcocks say they will return to Idaho for Chad Daybell’s arraignment on June 9. They add that they received word that the shooting death of Kay’s brother, Charles Vallow, is being investigated in Maricopa County, Arizona. Charles was shot to death by Lori’s brother, Alex Cox, who is now dead. Cox claimed self-defense, but now the Woodcocks say it’s getting another examination.

This week Chad was also indicted for the murder of his wife Tammy Daybell, who died mysteriously in her sleep. The body was later exhumed and though the cause of death has not been announced, the charges against Chad have been.

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