Joseph Daniels Trial Day 6: Jury hears recordings of Daniels, investigators testify to evidence testing

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Posted at 6:31 AM, Jun 09, 2021

CHARLOTTE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Day six of the trial of Joseph Daniels has concluded for the day as there were no more available witnesses for the state to call on Wednesday.

At least six investigators with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation painstakingly showed the jury how they searched for traces of blood, hair, clothing fibers and stains that might corroborate Daniels' recanted confession and the state's timeline of the alleged crime. However, despite the large effort, nothing was conclusive.

The jury heard another recording of Joseph Daniels, that the state believes, helps prove their case. The state also played 13 audio recordings of statements made by Joseph Daniels that were recorded in a car as he drove with investigators to show them where they might find Joe Clyde Daniels.

Dickson County Sheriff's Office Detective Trevor Daniel was the first to testify Wednesday. He was assigned to the search from day one. He said he couldn't quantify how long he’s worked and investigated this case.

Daniel interviewed Joseph the morning Joe Clyde was reported missing. He testified that Joseph asked for someone to search his trunk. He did and didn’t see anything. Daniel said he found that odd.

Det. Daniel testified that he noticed inconsistencies between what Joseph told him and what Joseph told other investigators later that night. He said Joseph didn’t tell him about the urination on the floor, and the timing of when they locked the door was different.

Daniel also participated in the second confession tape with Joseph Daniels. They rode with Joseph in search of the body where Joseph made spontaneous statements about what happened.

TBI Agent John Dunn also took the stand. He’s a Forensic Scientist in their latent print unit, who said they weren't able to find conclusive latent prints in the trunk of the car.

The state later called Brandt Holt, with the Cheatham County Sheriff's Office. At the time, he was with the TBI during the search for Joe Clyde.

Holt testified that he picked up Joseph Daniels by request so he could show where Joe Clyde was located. Holt said Joseph told him he dumped Joe Clyde in a creek in Hickman County.

Holt also testified that they stopped at Piney River in Hickman County and Joseph said he was “8/10 sure” he dropped off Joe Clyde off the bridge there. However, on the ride back to the Dickson County Jail, Holt said that Joseph admitted to lying about where the body was located and told investigators he couldn’t remember what happened.

In the recording, Joseph Daniels also talked about how his stepson, Alex, was a good boy that tells the truth. Two days ago, Alex testified in court that he saw Joseph beat Joe Clyde and carry him off the property.

The detective who recorded that conversation also testified about how Joseph’s stories the first 24 hours had a few inconsistencies. But the defense pushed back on that notion, asking the detective if that can be a common occurrence.

The state then called Agent Gregg Fort from the TBI Crime Lab. He responded with the TBI’s Violent Crime Response Team when Joe Clyde went missing. He said they went to the home to look for indications of physical evidence.

Fort testified that his team was looking to identify stains in the house and left several evidence markers in places they wanted to circle back to. They put markers around potential blood stains and one spot that may have been a bleach stain.

Fort explained that bleach can eliminate traces of blood when the TBI uses its chemical test. On cross-examination, Fort said if there was blood there they would expect to find traces. But it’s possible it could be eliminated.

A photo showing evidence markers placed in the Daniels home to indicate where TBI agents wanted to check for potential blood stains.

This was the second day the jury has heard recordings of Joseph Daniels that could be incriminating. on Tuesday, the jury listened to hours of Daniels confessing in an interview with the TBI.

At first, he stuck to his story that he didn't know how his son disappeared. As time moved on, his story changed, culminating with him confessing to killing Joe Clyde.

Daniels told the TBI he lost his temper when his son urinated on the floor, so he beat the boy until he lost consciousness. He said he then said he placed the body in the trunk of his car.

Daniels also shared where the body might be, but it's never been found.

The defense said investigators coerced him and that Daniels was lying just to end the interview. Defense attorney Jake Lockert pressed TBI agent Joey Boyd, who conducted the interview on that point.

“That confidence in that lie starts to degrade and that allows me an opportunity to continue building trust with that person so that eventually the goal is to let me in on that lie,” said Boyd.

However, there is no physical evidence to corroborate the confession, despite it being emotional and compelling.