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‘Brings closure’: Victims’ families react to Chad Daybell’s death sentence

BOISE Family members of the three people killed by Chad Daybell and his wife Lori Vallow Daybell said they feel a sense of healing and closure after the 55-year-old Utah religious author was sentenced to death Saturday.

Hearing the words “sentenced to death” by Judge Steven Boyce in the courtroom following the jury’s unanimous decision brought JJ Vallow’s family members Tylee Ryan and Tammy Daybell to tears.

When court ended, they stood and hugged each other, emotional knowing Daybell had been sentenced to death for killing Tammy Daybell, his wife of 29 years, in their Salem, Idaho, home. in October 2019, and Vallow’s two youngest children Daybell, 7-year-old JJ and 16-year-old Tylee, in September 2019.


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For the last time, the group appeared in court, able to say for the first time that everything was finally over.

“We’re right for our loved ones,” said Vicki Hoban, Tammy Daybell’s aunt. “And that’s what it’s always been about, getting justice for them.”

Tammy Daybell (family photo)

The sense of relief came just 24 hours after a difficult day in which some of the same family members gave jurors heartbreaking victim impact statements before death sentence deliberations began.

Tammy Daybell’s brother, Matthew Douglas, explained that he wanted to tell jurors to be true to themselves and do what is right or just.

But because of the Idaho statute, he said he could not read the portion of his victim impact statement that was addressed directly to the jury.

“I offer you my sincere gratitude, as a family member of a victim,” Douglas said, pausing at times as she choked up reading the words she couldn’t say in court. “Thank you for your time and selfless sacrifice. I hope you all know how much it means to someone in our position.”

He asked that jurors get the support and help they need, knowing what they have been through.

“Living for me, and for all of us who are victims, was enough of a burden,” Douglas said. “Please don’t carry this burden for us on your heart.”

Matthew Douglas, Tammy Daybell’s brother, surrounded by his siblings and their spouses (KSL TV)

Colby Ryan, JJ and Tylee’s older brother and Vallow Daybell’s only surviving child, said he can now close a painful chapter.

“It doesn’t change the outcome. But it is good news and it brings closure to all those who have been hurt,” he said.

The pain for Kay and Larry Woodcock began years ago with a simple question about their grandson when Vallow Daybell wouldn’t let them contact JJ.

Larry Woodcock said it’s important to speak up when something is wrong.

“I did it and I will do it again. where are the children where are the children Where are the children?” he asked.

They received the gruesome answer on June 9, 2020, when the children’s remains were discovered on Daybell’s property. The Woodcocks still have no good reason why. Chad Daybell and Vallow Daybell wanting to get married and collect their children’s Social Security benefits to finance their living expenses is an insult, Larry Woodcock said.

“For what? What was achieved?” asked Larry Woodcock. “Nothing. Nothing was achieved.”

JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan (file photo)

Vallow Daybell was convicted last year of conspiracy to kill her children, as well as conspiracy to kill Tammy and grand theft of Social Security benefits.

She will spend her life in prison.

“Everyone’s support is how we got through it,” Kay Woodcock said. “And you know, I’m not done yet.”

Vallow Daybell is in jail in Arizona awaiting trial on two counts related to the death of her fourth husband, Charles Vallow, and the attempted murder of her ex-nephew Brandon Boudreaux.

JJ Vallow’s grandparents, Kay and Larry Woodcock (KSL TV)

Daybell is sentenced to death for the conspiracy and murders of JJ, Tylee, and Tammy Daybell, plus he received two 15-year prison terms to run concurrently with two counts of insurance fraud for Tammy Daybell’s life insurance policies.

Tammy Daybell’s brother-in-law Jason Gwilliam spoke about how JJ, Tylee and Tammy’s families are forever connected.

“The hardest part I think about all of this is that our family has lost, lost a brother,” he said. “But in the process, I almost gained an entire family, and that can’t be replaced.”

Reading a statement, Gwilliam spoke of The Tammy Douglas Daybell Foundation family started to carry on Tammy’s legacy by increasing literacy and putting books in the hands of children.

He expressed his gratitude for all the support as he works to move forward.