Lori Vallow murder trial day 4: Jury selection resumes, opening statements set for next week
BOISE, Idaho - April 6, 2023 marks Day 4 in the murder trial of Lori Vallow, a former Arizona mom accused of killing her kids, Joshua "JJ" Vallow and Tylee Ryan, in Idaho.
During the afternoon hours of April 6, it was reported that 42 people have been selected for the jury pool, but more potential jurors are wanted by the court.
From here, the pool of 42 jurors will be whittled down to 18.
About 20 members of the press watched jury selection continue in Ada County, but nearly as many members of the public watched as well. In the meantime, people with interest in this case have been sitting in on the process due to a courtroom camera ban, including residents, podcasters and even an author who knows a lot about Vallow.
Opening statements are expected to start at 8:30 a.m. Monday morning in Idaho.
Judge makes major decision for victims' grandparents
On April 6, we learned that a major decision was made for certain family members of the victims, with the presiding judge ruling that JJ Vallow's grandmother, Kay Woodcock, could represent the slain boy in the court for the entire trial, even though she will take the stand as a witness.
Vallow’s lawyers had argued that because JJ was adopted, the Woodcocks were not legally grandparents, and should be excluded.
While under Idaho law, Kay did not qualify as an immediate family member, but JJ was adopted by Charles Vallow and Lori Vallow in 2014. When Charles died, Kay was next in line to represent.
As for JJ's grandfather, Larry Woodcock, he was excluded since he is on the witness list. However, he can be in the courtroom when there isn’t testimony going on, or if he is done testifying.
"For the first time in weeks, I truly am relaxed," said Larry Woodcock. "The biggest single issue we’ve had, obviously, is that were we going to be allowed in court. Last night, before I went to sleep, I prayed for at least an hour, and I prayed for the wisdom of the court, the wisdom of the judge, for protection of everybody, and I just - I asked for some peace."
Tylee, meanwhile, will be represented by Vallow's sister. As for Vallow's oldest son, Colby Ryan, he is considered to be a sibling to JJ and Tylee, and will be allowed in court.
Larry Woodcock speaks out
We spoke with Larry on April 6.
"Who is Lori Vallow to you?" Larry was asked.
"Lori Vallow is a chameleon," Larry repled. "She shows you these beautiful colors. She blends in, it's all rainbows, and it's glorious. Close the wings, and it can be deadly."
All Larry wants now is justice for JJ.
"How does that make you feel that this really finally happening?" Larry was asked.
"It's time," said Larry. "It's truly time. I think Lori has finally backed herself into a corner."
Larry said he has been to the Daybell property where JJ and Tylee were found dead, after their months-long disappearance.
"I did have a question: why?" said Larry. "Lori can't answer it, and I think her choices in life have led her to where she is today."
Larry said he and Kay have sat through Vallow's court appearances over the past three years.
"In anything we've been involved in, I've never seen her show emotions in anything we've seen, but I've seen Lori promote herself," said Larry.
As the trial continues, prosecutors have indicated that much of the evidence against Vallow is circumstantial.
"Do you feel that will be enough for a conviction?" Larry was asked.
"I truly do," Larry replied. "I truly believe that when all the evidence is heard, I truly believe in my heart that no juror is not gonna convict her."
Vallow accused of murdering her kids
Vallow is ready to stand trial for the murder of her two kids, JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan. She's also accused of conspiring to kill Tammy Daybell, who died in her sleep.
Tammy was married to Chad Daybell, a fictional author who wrote about doomsday stories.
Investigators say Lori and Chad were in the midst of an affair when these tragedies unfolded. They met at a 2018 conference for "doomsday peppers," and police say they made it a mission to rid the world of zombies and prepare for the second coming of Christ, identifying the three victims as dark spirits.
Lori left Arizona with her kids to be closer to Chad in the fall of 2019, and Chandler Police allege that she conspired in the murder of her fourth husband Charles Vallow - the start of a trail of death.
FOX 10's Justin Lum is in Idaho covering the trial. Follow him at @jlumfox10 on Twitter for the latest from the courtroom.