Doomsday Mom Lori Vallow’s grieving in-laws were “blindsided” to find out they might be blocked from sitting in the courtroom to watch their grandson’s alleged murderer face justice, according to a report.
Kay and Larry Woodcock — the grandparents of JJ Vallow and former inlaws of Vallow — were told Wednesday they might be barred from watching the trial because they are considered witnesses of the brutal slayings, East Idaho News reported.
Vallow, along with husband Charles Daybell, is accused of murdering son 7-year-old JJ and 17-year-old daughter Tylee Ryan in 2019.
The couple fled to Hawaii, where they were arrested in connection to the children’s mysterious disappearances and shortly before police found the kids’ burned bodies were found in a makeshift grave near Vallow’s home in rural Idaho.
The Woodcocks were the first to call the police and report the children missing.
“We continue to be victimized by Lori every single day living life without JJ, Tylee and Charles, then again by possibly denying us the chance to be the face in the courtroom seeking justice for them,” the Woodcocks told the outlet in a statement.
“We made a promise over three years ago to Tylee and JJ to see justice prevail. We will fight until we have exhausted all options to keep that promise.”
Under Idaho law, prosecutors can ask judges to block witnesses from attending the trial to prevent them from hearing other witness testimony.
Exceptions can be made for victims who are immediate family members, which the defense argues the Woodcocks are not thanks to a winding and convoluted family tree.
Kay is JJ’s biological grandmother and legally took care of the boy with Larry until he was adopted by Vallow her fourth husband — Kay’s brother — Charles Vallow, making her his grandmother and aunt.
Because Kay’s son legally terminated his parental rights and Lori and Chad became JJ’s adoptive parents before his death, the defense argued Woodcocks no longer fit the legal definition of immediate family.
“We were completely blindsided and heartbroken at the argument made saying we are not JJ’s grandparents and should not be considered victims in this case,” the Woodcocks said.
The couple has not been officially booted from the courtroom and plan to fight for their right to sit in the audience.
“To tell a grandparent they’re not allowed to watch the trial of the murder of their grandson, someone who was a big part of their life, I think we really are running outside what’s intended by the statute and what’s intended by the Constitution,” Wood said. “Legally, absolutely, no question about it, Larry and Kay Woodcock meet the definition of what a victim is.”