DICKSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — Closing arguments will begin Friday morning in the trial for Joseph Daniels, the Dickson County man accused of murdering his five-year-old son, Joe Clyde, known as “Baby Joe.”
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, 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.
Joseph Daniels called 911 on the morning of April 4, 2018 to report Joe Clyde had “escaped” from the family’s home on Garners Creek Road in Dickson County.
The night of April 6, he confessed to investigators during a recorded interview that he killed the five-year-old, who was non-verbal and had autism, then dumped his body in a rural area.
Jake Lockert, the public defender representing Joseph Daniels, has argued his client’s confession was coerced and it has since been recanted, but the judge allowed it to be played for the jury and used as evidence at the trial.
Day seven of the trial concluded around 2:45 p.m. Thursday with closing arguments scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. Friday.
The jury was chosen from a pool of people in Chattanooga, all of which the judge said had never heard the name “Baby Joe.” That jury consists of 12 jurors and four alternates, made up of ten women and six men.
Joseph Daniels faces five charges, including first-degree murder and evidence tampering. He was jailed in Nashville, but has been moved to the Dickson County jail during the duration of his trial.
His wife, Krystal Daniels 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.