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Jury begins deliberations, rewatches part of Daniels' recanted confession

Daniels Trial Day 8 (closing arguments)_frame_317434.jpeg
Posted at 6:38 AM, Jun 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-12 00:04:00-04

CHARLOTTE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Seven women and five men from Chattanooga began deliberating the fate of Joseph Daniels, who is accused of killing his son, Joe Clyde and re-watch portions of Daniels' recanted confession.

The case hinges on the testimony of Alex Nolan — Joe Clyde’s half-brother. He testified earlier this week that he saw Joseph beat Joe Clyde to the point of unconsciousness and carried his body down the road.

The prosecution wanted to make sure the jury remembered his testimony.

"He was 8-years-old when this happened and he said I didn’t tell the truth in the beginning because I was trying to protect him, but that was a lie. He said I’m here to tell the truth now. I’m here to tell you what happened," said Assistant District Attorney Josh Turnbow.

Turnbow also argued that Joseph killed Joe Clyde so Krystal couldn’t leave him — because she would lose out on Joe Clyde’s state disability check. He also argued that Joseph waited until his father and step-mother left town to kill Joe Clyde, saying that proves it was premeditated murder.

However, Alex’s story has changed over the past three years. In his first meeting with a forensic interviewer, Alex said Joseph didn’t do anything wrong. In the second interview, he told some wild stories that didn’t make sense. And on the stand this week, he told the jury he saw almost everything that happened to Joe Clyde.

The defense argues that he was fed information by investigators and his testimony shouldn’t be trusted.

"I’m not going to call Alex Nolan a liar. Because he’s not. He’s a child. He’s 12-years-old. He got up here and presented to you the facts he’s been given to him," said Assistant Public Defender Mitch Mitchell.

Mitchell also argued that there's no proof or logic behind the state’s argument that Krystal’s message proving infidelity. Mitchell alleged that the TBI was threatening to investigate Alex, so Joseph took the blame to protect his step-son.

However, District Attorney Ray Crouch argued that Alex wasn’t interrogated and that he did two interviews with a forensic interviewer at the Child Advocacy Center.

Crouch wrapped up his remarks by playing the “apple video” of Joe Clyde, which prompted some sniffles from the jury box. He closed by reminding the jury that the state does not have to produce a body to prove guilt.

After a recess, Judge Wolfe charged the jury with their instructions for deliberations after which they were moved to the deliberation room to discuss.

Assistant District Attorney Josh Turnbow delivers closing argument
Defense Att. Matthew Mitchell delivers closing argument; state delivers rebuttal

After a couple of hours, jury members asked to watch portions of Daniels' recanted confession again.

Part of the video re-watched by the jury focused on Alex, Joe Clyde's half-brother who testified to witnessing Joseph beat Joe and carry his body down the street.

The court adjourned shortly after 8 p.m. and deliberations will resume at 9 a.m. Saturday morning.

Friday morning, public defender Jake Lockert also alluded to the possible car part found near the Daniels residence Thursday, but Judge Wolfe said that development is inadmissible in this trial.

Thursday’s witnesses included the head TBI agent on the case, Zachary Burkhard, who reviewed parts of Daniels' since-recanted confession and an email chain between Daniels and a potential employer on the day Joe Clyde went missing.

The jury also saw text messages that pointed to Krystal Daniels' infidelity in her marriage to Joseph.

Court wrapped up sooner than expected yesterday, as the defense decided not to call any witnesses.