CHARLOTTE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A more than an hour-long interview of Joseph Daniels was played for the jury during the third day of the Joseph Daniels murder trial.
The prosecution picked up where they left off Friday with Dickson County Sheriff's Detective Sarah McCartney.
It’s a rare Saturday in court. The father of Joe Clyde Daniels is back in the courtroom for his son’s murder trial. Joseph Daniels is accused of killing the 5-year-old in April 2018. pic.twitter.com/Fs2nqqcfUH— Hannah McDonald (@HannahMcDonald) June 5, 2021
They reviewed multiple audio recordings and surveillance videos of her search of the area with Joseph Daniels. She testified that she spent a 24 hours reviewing footage from cameras around the community. She even pulled videos from weeks prior to when Joe went missing to learn trends.
Overnight video from Love’s Truck Stop, 9 miles from Daniels’ residence was also shown to the jury. In it, Joseph can be seen The state wearing a dark shirt with a large image of an alien or skeleton on the front. They discussed a report made by a man in the area, Daniel McCormick, who said he witnessed a child along a road. But prosecutors used the video to imply that the person McCormick saw on the roadside wearing a glow-in-the-dark “skeleton” shirt but Joseph.
Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Agent Steven Kennard was the second person to take the stand Saturday.
The jury heard a recorded interview between him, Joseph and other investigators that was held the day after Joe's disappearance in which they discussed where Joe possibly would have gone, what he would respond to. The agent asked Joseph about the child's likes, dislikes and triggers.
During the hour-long interview, Joseph Daniels said his wife had caught Baby Joe trying to unlock the padlocked door once before. He said she found him with the key in the lock, but couldn't remember when the instance was. In other interviews, Joseph had told investigators that Joe had gotten out six months before his disappearance, which prompted the parents to get the lock.
Joseph told Agent Kennard he had nothing to do with Joe's disappearance. During the interview, Joseph also hypothesized that a sex offender possibly kidnapped the child.
"I don't know where he's at. Nobody does except for him," said Daniels.
Other investigators questioned Daniels on inconsistencies in what happened he said happened the morning Joe went missing. But the trial concluded for the day during that portion of the interview.
The trial will resume Monday at 8 a.m.
Watch gavel-to-gavel coverage here:
The trial began Thursday afternoon with opening statements from each side, laying out what they hope to prove over the course of the next few weeks. Both sides spent a lot of time talking about the taped confession of Joseph Daniels.
DA Crouch told the jury they will be able to prove certain aspects of Joseph Daniel’s confession — which is required under Tennessee law before it can be shown to the jury. The state also argues it wasn’t coerced.
But Defense Attorney Jake Lockert argued in his opening statement that not only did investigators feed his “mentally ill client” with information but that the state ignored other evidence once they had the confession.
We also heard from the first three witnesses, including Joe Clyde’s speech pathologist, his school bus driver, and the 911 operator that Joseph called the night Joe Clyde disappeared.
We heard from multiple members of law enforcement and first responders on day two of the trial.
Two emergency responders -- one from TEMA and the other from Maury County EMA -- testified that they heard Joe Clyde’s 3-year-old brother ask his aunt if Joe Clyde was dead. District Attorney Ray Crouch said they heard the younger brother ask, “Joe dead? Joe dead? Joe dead?,” and his Aunt Joyce replied, "yes baby, Joe dead."
Chad Bailey with Maury County EMA also testified that Joseph Daniels told him and other investigators that he believed Joe Clyde pushed the coffee table to the door, climbed on top, unlocked the master lock, climbed back down and moved the table back. This was the afternoon after Joe Clyde went missing.
However, in opening statements, the DA said the timeline the defense is suggesting -- that Joe Clyde climbed on a coffee table and took off the lock himself -- is impossible due to Joe's lack of fine motor skills.