Joe Clyde Daniels case: Parents could be tried separately when case goes to trial in June

Joe Clyde
Posted at 11:12 AM, Mar 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-04 21:34:27-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A big change is expected in the high-profile Joe Clyde Daniels case. NewsChannel 5 has learned that the boy’s parents are now expected to be tried separately instead of together.

The general understanding has always been that Joseph and Krystal Daniels would stand trial together. But now it appears there will be two trials, and the parents will be tried separately.

NewsChannel 5 legal analyst Nick Leonardo says there are clear elements in the case indicating the judge has no choice, but to separate the parents. However, it’s important to note that neither the defense attorneys nor prosecutors would comment on the matter because of a standing gag order.

For the past two-plus years, both parents have been locked up on $1 million bond each. The father, Joseph, is charged with homicide, while the mother, Krystal, is charged with aggravated child neglect.

Daniels Hearing_frame_14148.jpeg
Joseph Daniels appears in court for a hearing in the Joe Clyde Daniels case (Sept. 24, 2020).

"Some of the strongest evidence the state has are statements that each of them have made about the other," said NewsChannel 5 legal analyst Nick Leonardo

Early on, Krystal Daniels told the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation that she saw her husband standing over Joe Clyde, striking him the night he disappeared. Leonardo expects the prosecution will call on the TBI agent to testify again at trial as to what Krystal told him, which would be damaging testimony to Joseph.

“Did she say she was physically unable to get close to Joe Clyde because Joseph Daniels threatened her,” an attorney asked during a hearing in 2019.

“She made a statement to that, yes. In fact, she claimed that Joseph Daniels assaulted her. She claimed he took a swing at her,” TBI agent Joey Boyd responded.

Leonardo says the prosecution cannot use a statement from one defendant, who won't take the stand, implicating the other in the very same trial. If the prosecution plans to use Krystal's words as expected, the judge must sever the case.

If the trials are separated, it’s unclear who would be tried first. But the thinking is Krystal Daniels would go first in June because her case is less complex.

Keep in mind, the judge has not yet issued the order, but Leonardo believes that it is coming soon.