Victims’ Families Ask Judge to Reverse Ban on Cameras in Courtroom During Vallow-Daybell Murder Trial

Family members of the alleged victims in the murder trial of Chad and Lori Vallow Daybell want District Judge Stephen Boyce to reverse his decision to bar cameras in the courtroom.

Attorneys for Vallow Daybell and prosecutors argued in favor of banning the cameras, although Daybell’s attorney did not join them. Boyce made his ruling barring cameras in September, saying he was especially concerned with pretrial publicity, although his order also including the trial itself, now set to begin on April 3..

But family members of JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan — children of Vallow Daybell — and Tammy Daybell, Chad Daybell’s first wife, say the ruling will largely prevent them from watching the proceedings, especially since Boyce had already moved the trial, which is expected to last 10 weeks,  4 1/2 hours away to Boise.

“This is unfair. … I have total respect for the judge,” JJ Vallow’s grandfather, Larry Woodcock, told “I admire him so far for how he’s run his court, but I think this was an ill-advised decision.”

“I can understand keeping the cameras out in pre-trial (hearings), but when that trial starts, and those jurors are picked, it’s time for the public and the families to be able to see that.”

The Daybells are accused of killing the two children and Daybell’s first wife in 2021, as CrimeOnline has reported. They have both pleaded not guilty.

Tylee Ryan’s aunt, Annie Cushing, called banning cameras from the courtroom “an egregious disservice to family members who can’t carve out two and a half months of their lives to attend the trial.”

We deserve to be able to watch the legal system finally hold Lori and Chad’s feet to the flames for their callous disregard for these victims’ lives,” she said.” I would respectfully ask Judge Boyce to please reconsider his decision on this matter.”

Tammy Daybell’s elderly parents, Ron and Phyllis Douglas, are particularly inconvenienced because of their age and have asked prosecutors to provide them with video access to the trial. The Douglases live nearly 400 miles from Boise, and other family members live all over the country.

Prosecuting attorneys Rob Wood and Lindsey Blake, who argued against cameras in the courtroom, issued a statement saying they believe “the court will work to balance all parties’ rights to fair trial and the neutrality and integrity of the jury process with the request of the victims’ families for remote access to the proceedings.”

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[Featured image: FILE – Chad Daybell, left, and Lori Vallow Daybell with her attorneys in separate hearings held on April 19, 2022. (Tony Blakeslee/ via AP, Pool, File)]