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Day 5 of Joseph Daniels trial: Jurors hear Daniels' recanted confession

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Posted at 6:43 AM, Jun 08, 2021

CHARLOTTE, Tenn. (WTVF) — In day 5 of the Joseph Daniels trial, Jurors watched Daniels' now recanted confession in which he says he killed his 5-year-old son.

Watch gavel-to-gavel coverage below:

Jenny Jones was the first witness called Tuesday morning. Jones, a bail bonding professional, lives on Garners Creek Road, where the Daniels live. She testified that as she was driving south on their street, she saw someone standing on a bridge over a dry creek bed late at night.

In cross-examination, Jones testified that the man she saw was just standing there, not near a vehicle. She did not see him carrying or near a child.

After that, TBI investigator Joey Boyd took the stand. He conducted the interview with Joseph Daniels where he confessed on camera. Boyd explained on the stand why he thinks the jury should believe Daniels in the confession. The defense continues to argue it was coerced.

It has since been recanted. For the first time, the jury watched the confession video.

The jury was seen taking copious notes throughout the more than two-hour-long confession video. The interview actually lasted five hours, but the jury will not see it in its entirety.

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Jurors hear Joseph Daniels' recanted confession.

On Monday, Judge Wolfe ruled during a Bishop hearing that the state will be allowed to show the jury Daniels’ taped confession. Daniels later recanted that confession, but the judge ruled that the state has provided enough corroborating evidence for it to be shown as early as Tuesday.

A few parts were redacted, including any references in the interview about the polygraph test that Daniels took because it will not be introduced as evidence.

For the first 90 minutes of the tape, Daniels remains firm that he didn't hurt or kill Joe Clyde. But, toward the end of the tape, Daniels admits to repeatedly beating Joe Clyde for urinating on the floor. He says he lost control and Joe Clyde eventually became unresponsive. Daniels says during the confession video that he put the 5-year-old in the trunk of his car.

Daniels also shared where the body might be, but Joe Clyde has never been found.

But the defense said the confession was coerced by investigators and that Joseph was lying just to end the interview. Defense Attorney Jake Lockert tried to push Agent Boyd during cross-examination on that point.

He questioned Boyd multiple times on his interrogation method and why he would interrupt Daniels when he would claim his innocence. Lockert argued that Boyd put the confession in Daniels' mind and coerced him to say it.

Also on Monday, Joe Clyde’s older half-brother, Alex, testified that he saw Joseph beat Joe Clyde and carry him out of the house and down the road.

His testimony was different than what he told investigators right after Joe Clyde went missing. In his first interview with the Child Advocacy Center, he said Daniels did nothing wrong. In the second interview a few days later, he gave a wild account about blue men, blood apples, tigers and teleporting.

Alex told the jury on Monday that he was taking sleeping medication at the time ad was afraid someone would harm him if he told the truth. He also testified that he had repressed some of his memories due to their traumatic nature and only recently remembered them.

Jessica Tigert, who interviewed Alex both times, testified that there could have been multiple reasons he changed his account, given the potential trauma he experienced.