(NewsNation) — Larry Woodcock, the grandfather of JJ Vallow, said that removing the death penalty in Lori Vallow Daybell‘s trial is a “slap in the face.”
“I no longer consider Boyce a judge. From this point on, I will not refer to him as a judge,” Woodcock said during an exclusive interview Tuesday on NewsNation’s “Banfield.”
Vallow Daybell is the woman accused of killing her children, 17-year-old Tylee Ryan and 7-year-old JJ Vallow. They disappeared in 2019, and their bodies were found in the backyard of her now-husband Chad Daybell’s home.
East Idaho News reports District Judge Steven Boyce ruled to dismiss the death penalty Tuesday as an option ahead of Vallow’s trial “to ensure the rights of the defendant to a fair trial are protected.”
KTVB reports Boyce said there was a late disclosure of evidence by prosecutors, which could potentially turn over the case on an appeal if there happened to be a capital conviction in the case.
Larry and Kay Woodcock, the grandparents of JJ Vallow, were shocked by the ruling.
“I think he (Boyce) has made bad calls. … This ruling that he put out today is an insult to JJ. … It’s a slap in the face to our family. … The fact that Boyce is not allowing cameras is wrong,” Larry said.
Kay said the news came out of “left field.”
“We had no idea that he (Boyce) was going to dismiss the death penalty from her. It’s been a very long, hard day, but it is what it is. We’ve been on a roller coaster going on four years. The ride continues whether or not we like it. We’re stuck on it, and we cannot get off,” Kay said.
Vallow Daybell did not waive her right to a swift trial, which is set to begin April 3.