UPDATE: The jury reached a verdict on Saturday, June 12, 2021. Joseph Daniels was found guilty of murdering his son Joe Clyde Daniels. Joseph Daniels was convicted on a charge of first-degree murder in perpetration of a felony, as well as second-degree murder, for fatally beating five-year-old Joe Clyde, whose body has never been located.
DICKSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — After a week of testimony, the jury began deliberating Friday in the trial of Joseph Daniels, the Dickson County man charged with murdering his five-year-old son, Joe Clyde, known as “Baby Joe.”
Closing arguments wrapped up just before noon Friday, clearing the way for the jury to decide the fate of Joseph Daniels. The jury began deliberating around 2 p.m.
Just before 6 p.m. Friday, the jury requested to be able to re-watch portions of Joseph Daniels’ nearly-three hour confession video in the courtroom with no one else present, rather than in the jury deliberation room.
The jury was allowed to return to the courtroom around 6:30 p.m. and watch those videos again alongside the judge, prosecution and defense.
After those clips were viewed, the judge dismissed the jury just before 8:30 p.m. Those jurors will resume their deliberations at 9 a.m. Saturday.
The five charges against Joseph Daniels, include first-degree murder, first-degree murder in perpetration of a felony, aggravated child abuse, filing a false report and evidence tampering.
The state rested its case Thursday afternoon and the defense chose not to call any witnesses.
Day seven of the trial included testimony from Zachary Burkhart, an agent with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, who provided a copy of conversations between Krystal Daniels and her boyfriend in Kansas, indicating she planned to divorce her husband, Joseph Daniels.
Burkhart also testified that data from an extraction of Joseph Daniels’ cell phone, included a Google search for “anonymous parental test” on the night of March 30, 2018, days prior to the suspect reporting Joe Clyde missing.
The data also showed that, hours after reporting his son missing, as law enforcement was searching for Joe Clyde, Joseph Daniels called Nashville State Community College to get a copy of his transcripts, as part of a background check for employment.
Joseph Daniels called 911 around 6:22 a.m. on the morning of April 4, 2018 and said Joe Clyde had “escaped” from the family’s residence on Garners Creek Road in Dickson County.
Two days later, in a recorded interview with law enforcement, Joseph Daniels confessed to the fatal beating of his son, who had autism and was non-verbal, after the five-year-old had urinated on the floor of a bedroom. He told investigators that he dumped Joe Clyde’s body in a rural area.
The child’s body has never been located.
Jake Lockert, the public defender representing Joseph Daniels, has said his client’s confession was coerced, but the judge allowed it to be played and used as evidence in the trial.
The jury, made up of 12 people, was chosen from a pool of people in Chattanooga, all of which the judge said had never heard the name “Baby Joe.”
Joseph Daniels’ wife, Krystal witnessed the fatal beating, but went to bed instead of helping her son, according to investigators.
She is charged with aggravated child abuse and neglect and will be tried separately from her husband.
News 2 will have live streaming coverage of Joseph Daniels’ trial at WKRN.com. Josh Breslow will be joined by News 2’s legal expert, Grover Collins to provide analysis on the trial from the opening statements to the verdict.