Day 5 of the Joseph Daniels trial continues Tuesday. CLICK HERE to watch live.
DICKSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — A driver claims she saw Joseph Daniels standing “perfectly still” next to a bridge in the middle of the night on April 4, 2018, hours before Daniels called 911 to report his five-year-old son, Joe Clyde, was missing.
Jenny Jones, who was working as a bail bondsperson at the time, took the stand on day five of the Joseph Daniels murder trial. She explained she was traveling home from Williamson County into Dickson County that night.
As Jones drove on Garners Creek Road around 1:30 a.m., she testified she saw someone standing on a bridge, wearing a multi-colored shirt and red shorts.
“It’s a dry creek bed under the bridge. Someone was just standing there on the east side of the road against the guardrail,” she recalled.
Days later, Jones said she saw a photo of Joseph Daniels on the news and recognized him as the man she had seen on the bridge, so she contacted law enforcement.
Jake Lockert, the attorney for Joseph Daniels, asked Jones if “at any time” she saw the man “carrying a deceased child,” to which she responded, “I did not.”
Jones said, “I am positive he was looking in my direction,” but then explained she was not certain if he was looking at her or at a tree, but that he was “perfectly still” while “his back was to the guardrail.”
LOCKERT: “The man that you saw, did he look at you?”
JONES: “No, I don’t think so. He was just perfectly still, standing there.”
LOCKERT: “I believe, haven’t you said before that he never looked at you or faced you?”
JONES: “I mean, I was driving by, I don’t know. You know, I looked at him. I couldn’t tell you if he looked me or not. I don’t know.”
LOCKERT: “So you don’t know if if you could see his face?”
JONES: “I seen his face. Yes.”
Lockert continued questioning Jones’ story, citing her inconsistencies about whether Joseph Daniels was looking at her or not.
LOCKERT: “You didn’t see anybody standing at the guardrail did you?”
JONES: “Yes sir, I did.”
LOCKERT: “And today, you’re testifying falsely under oath aren’t you?”
LOCKERT: “But you’ve testified he was looking right at you.”
JONES: “He was facing the road’s all I know.”
LOCKERT: “And didn’t you just testify that he was looking at you? That his face was in your direction?”
Alex Nolan, the eleven-year-old half-brother of Joe Clyde, testified Monday that he saw Joseph Daniels, his stepfather, leave the family’s home during the early morning hours of April 4, 2018, and walk along Garners Creek Road, while carrying Joe Clyde in his arms.
Joseph Daniels reported his son, known as “Baby Joe,” missing around 6:30 a.m. that morning and said the boy had escaped from the family’s home. During a four-hour recorded confession, Joseph Daniels admitted to fatally beating Joe Clyde, who had autism and was non-verbal, then dumping his body in a rural area.
Lockert has argued the confession, which was later recanted, was coerced, but a judge determined it could be used as evidence during the trial.
The body of Joe Clyde has never been found.
Day five of the trial began around 8 a.m. Tuesday. A three-hour recess was called as the defense asked for time to review redacted video of a lengthy interview between the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and Joseph Daniels held at the Dickson City Police Department on the night of April 6, 2018, prior to it being played for the jury.
The trial itself, which started last Thursday afternoon, is scheduled to last for approximately two weeks.
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.