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Family friends react to Daybell trial scare

REXBURG, Idaho (KIFI) - The State of Idaho held its collective breath Thursday as a clerical error threatened to derail the Chad Daybell murder trial.

Clint and Jeanine Hansen asked to meet with Local News 8 at the Madison County Courthouse. After all, it’s where the Daybell case began nearly four-and-a-half years ago. Since that time, they’ve become inseparable from JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan’s grandparents, Larry and Kay Woodcock.

 “JJ and Tylee came up missing in this little ol’ town,” Jeanine recalled. “And as I watched that interview, my heart went out to them. And it was like, ‘My gosh, we’re here in Rexburg. What can we do for them?’”

“Seeing them on TV,” Clint added, “pleading, ‘Where are the kids?’ It just embedded that in my heart.”

The Hansens reached out to the Woodcocks after that TV appearance. They’ve been close friends and confidants ever since.

Local News 8 asked Clint if he feels the trial is on its way to securing justice for JJ and Tylee.

“I do,” he said. “I truly do. But I don’t know where we’re gonna end up.”

The trial nearly took a major detour when Judge Steven Boyce discovered a critical error. The first-degree murder indictment regarding JJ Vallow listed the wrong date of death. Daybell’s attorney swiftly asked to have the charge dropped.

“It wouldn’t have been a bigger surprise for me if you hit me in the head with a brick,” Clint said.

“A clerical error?” Jeanine recalled. “No! Please not a clerical error! And we’ve gone this far with all this testimony in this trial, and a clerical error could, for JJ, so he doesn’t have justice in this case?”

“My heart was broken,” she continued. “My heart was broken. And it was broken for Larry and Kay.”

Jeanine checked in with the Woodcocks via text.

"They said, ’It’s in God’s hands,’” she reported. “‘And we’re okay with whatever happens.’”

After additional arguments and recesses, the motion to dismiss the charge was denied.

“That was such a relief,” Jeanine said. “I cried."

“In my heart, I think everything’s going to work out the way it’s supposed to,” Clint added. “I really do.”

Article Topic Follows: Vallow-Daybell Coverage

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Sam Gelfand


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