DICKSON, Tenn. (WTVF) — The parents of Dickson boy, Joe Clyde Daniels, say they will not be getting a divorce, which could complicate things for prosecutors in the case.
Five-year-old Joe Clyde disappeared from his Dickson County home nearly three years ago. His parents, Joseph and Krystal Daniels are both charged in the case - Krystal with aggravated child neglect and Joseph with homicide. But Joe Clyde's body has not been found.
Sources tell NewsChannel 5 the couple won't be divorcing which means they likely won't testify against each other because spousal privilege remains on the table - a large complication for prosecutors already heading to what will be a very high profile trial with very little physical evidence.
Now, just months before a trial there seems little chance one partner can be forced to testify against the other. They are to be tried together, but Krystal requested a divorce to separate herself before trial.
"That's one distancing from the other because the other is the bad actor," said Newschannel5 legal analyst Nick Leonardo.
Initially, Krystal had told a Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agent she saw her husband beating the child the night he disappeared. But later in an exclusive interview with Newschannel5 in 2019, she contradicted herself.
"Do you believe was capable of killing Joe Clyde," NewsChannel 5 asked. "I mean I don't think that he would ... I mean he's never really been like that ... you know, the abusive type," she said.
At trial, prosecutors could call and press Krystal to clarify. But now we've learned the divorce is not happening. Krystal and Joseph will remain married and there appears to be a united front. What does the defense or prosecution have to say about this? Nothing. And gag order remains in place.
We know authorities continue to look for Joe Clyde's remains. At one point last year digging up property around the home where the boy lived. But nothing of substance was found, and Krystal has made the case her son may still be alive.
I don't want people to be looking for my son's remains. I want them looking for him," said Krystal in the 2019 interview.
Investigators have made it clear they believe Joe Clyde to be dead, but without a body how do they prove it? If they were counting on Krystal to testify against her husband that now appears unlikely.
Status hearings are scheduled for the case later this month with the trial expected in late summer or fall.