BOISE, Idaho — As Kay and Larry Woodcock exited the Ada County Courthouse on Friday, the crowd waiting outside began cheering Queen's "We Will Rock You" -- 7-year-old JJ Vallow's favorite song, according to his grandfather.
For nearly four years, Kay and Larry Woodcock have been vocal about justice for their grandson JJ Vallow, who went missing in September of 2019 and was later found suffocated and buried in a shallow grave on June 9, 2020.
His mother, Lori Vallow Daybell, was found guilty of his murder and the murder of her daughter Tylee Ryan on Friday after seven hours of jury deliberation. Lori Vallow was also found guilty of grand theft and conspiring to kill her husband's former wife, Tammy Daybell, while Lori Vallow was in the midst of a secret affair with Chad Daybell.
Before the jury's decision was announced in court, the lone representative for the 12-person jury gave a bailiff their verdict to hand to presiding Judge Steven Boyce. He read it silently as the audience watched. Many people in the courtroom whispered to each other that their hearts were pounding and their hands were shaking. Boyce sent the verdict to the clerk, who read it into the record.
"Will the defendant please rise?" Boyce asked. Lori Vallow stood from her green chair at the left side of the courtroom with her hands overlapped in front of her. Her curly blonde hair parted in the middle from the back of her head, laying down over her shoulders. She pursed her lips.
The clerk read the word "guilty" six times -- one for each count Lori Vallow was charged with. And each time, someone in the courtroom let out a small sigh.
Lori Vallow had no reaction to the verdict. She stood frozen, until later led away to go back to the Ada County Jail. She will then be transported to Fremont County.
When the court was dismissed, every single person stood up and looked around. Tears exploded from onlookers' faces and one Fremont County detective raised his eyebrows, breathing out a large sigh.
Crowds outside the courthouse even erupted in screams of joy. One man even held up a sign outside the courthouse calling Lori Vallow, "Gory Lori."
After the verdict, Kay Woodcock, through tears, made her way to Rexburg Police Detective Ray Hermosillo near the front of the courtroom. Hermosillo was one of the first officers to arrive at Lori Vallow's residence on Nov. 27, 2019, to conduct a welfare check for JJ Vallow. He later testified to discovering the bodies of JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan on Chad Daybell's property.
Hermosillo, who had spent the minutes before the verdict pacing back and forth in the hallway, embraced Kay Woodcock in an emotional hug. She mumbled into his gray suit, "Thank you."
Kay Woodcock also made her way to Rob Wood, the Madison County prosecutor who issued closing arguments on behalf of the state to the jury on Thursday.
Rob Wood closed his eyes as the two held each other in a hug, and people around him began to approach to shake his hand.
The media, their cameras and microphones completely covering the outside of the Ada County Courthouse, anxiously waited for those involved in the case or for family members to make an appearance. The defense did not.
But, Kay and Larry Woodcock approached the dozens of microphones standing at the base of the steps in the sweltering heat. The sound of cars passing by -- some honking -- and the courthouse water fountain surrounded the voice of Larry Woodcock, who told the crowd that the law enforcement and prosecutors "became family." It all began when he started asking -- back in 2019 -- "where are the children?" he said.
"JJ, I love you," Larry Woodcock said as he looked at the sky. "Tylee, pawpaw loves you. Tammy, I never met you, but you are part of our life. Tammy, I am sorry for what happened to you." He raised his fist, which had bracelets of the names of Tylee Ryan, JJ Vallow and Charles Vallow -- the ex-husband of Lori Vallow, later shot and killed by her brother -- printed on them.
Kay Woodcock said that before the verdict was read, her stomach was in knots. But after, "everything aligned in the universe."
Especially for a mother being convicted of murdering her own children right before Mother's Day, she said.
"This is what you call poetic justice," Kay Woodcock said. "And that is a big deal."
The law enforcement involved in the case, who has been attending the trial since the beginning of April, were sitting in the first row when the verdict was read. They later snuck through a side door, disappearing for a while, until exiting out of the main door of the courthouse.
These officers, mostly from Fremont County and Rexburg Police, walked down the side ramp in their gray and black suits, without glancing at the massive crowd that was waiting for them to give their thoughts on the guilty verdict.
They were silent to the media and the public, but it didn't matter -- the crowd cheered for them anyway. People erupted with clapping, raising their fists and showing their support for the officers who spent four years clawing their way through searches, interviews, data and death.
They have seen Tylee Ryan's remains, dismembered and burned, have seen JJ Vallow's body, bound in duct tape. They've seen the exhumation of Tammy Daybell, who was later discovered to be murdered by asphyxiation.
Larry Woodcock said he will never know how many hours the officers assigned to this case put in, or the sacrifice they have gone through.
"What they have seen in this case, some people will never unsee," he told the media.
The prosecution team still declines to comment on the verdict, as Chad Daybell's case is still ongoing, and he is classified as Lori Vallow's co-conspirator in the crimes.
But, the team did send a statement.
"We are very pleased with the jury’s verdict, and we want to thank them, as well as the alternates, for their service over last six weeks during this trial. Given the pending case against the co-defendant, we are unable to conduct any additional interviews or discuss further details of this matter. We want to assure each of you that we remain committed to pursuing justice for Tylee Ryan, JJ Vallow and Tammy Daybell. We also want to express sincere appreciation to the many members of law enforcement and the community who tirelessly worked together to hold Lori Vallow Daybell accountable," it said.
The Tammy Douglas Daybell Foundation, a nonprofit started in her honor to encourage children to read -- as she was a librarian -- released a statement after the verdict, saying they are grateful that justice was served even though it cannot bring the victims back.
"We hope this verdict brings some measure of closure for all of us," it said. "We will continue to honor Tammy's memory by furthering her legacy of getting books into the hands of kids."
In the end -- from hundreds of man hours, hundreds of pieces of evidence, multiple court filings and hearings -- Larry Woodcock said he had a couple of lasting words for Lori Vallow.
"They say that all good things must end," he sang to the crowd. He stopped.
"Lori, it ended."
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