DICKSON, Tenn. - Is he a criminal genius? Not quite. However, NewsChannel 5 has learned the man accused of killing 5-year-old Joe Clyde Daniels is much smarter than most imagine.
The child's father is said to have scored at a near-genius level on an IQ test – a standardized method of measuring someone's intelligence.
The average person scores in the 90-109 range. Genius level is 145 and above.
Sources tell NewsChannel 5 that Joseph Daniels scored very close to that level – that's right, Daniels, who detectives say admitted to killing his 5-year-old son Joe Clyde, is said to have scored in the 130-140 range on an IQ test taken a few years ago.
That would put him in the category of gifted or very advanced. To put that in perspective, only three percent of the population score at that level.
But does that make someone more likely to commit a crime?
"Your IQ level doesn't necessarily translate very well to criminal activity," said legal expert/attorney Jim Todd.
But in this case, it might. Daniels is charged with homicide. To this point, he's been unable or unwilling to help authorities locate his son's body.
He's told different stories and at times, Daniels seems to be playing games.
"Certainly, a person with a high IQ can come up with better stories than someone with a low IQ… or can come up with stories that don't have as many holes in them," said Todd.
The alleged high IQ score squares with what others know about Daniels.
Specifically, he graduated from high school with honors and was accepted to college. Daniels wrote a self-published book, and some say while he may be borderline autistic and socially awkward, he's brilliant in math and sciences.
Such accomplishment could play a role in how Daniels is prosecuted. Daniels is set to undergo an evaluation and may be found to suffer from some type of mental illness.
But experts say a high IQ will make it more difficult for the defense to argue that Daniels is unfit to stand trial.
The District Attorney says the option of seeking the death penalty against Daniels is still on the table.