Evidence, witnesses discussed in hearing of “Baby Joe” murder trial

Baby Joe

DICKSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — Joseph Daniels is accused of killing his child and three years later the body of “Baby Joe” still not found.

Wednesday the state and defense argued motions ahead of the trial in a Dickson County courtroom, where we gained insight into some of the evidence and witnesses.

“How was a shovel at the residence used in the alleged murder, when were the hairs left on the shovel?” Judge David Wolfe read listing a number of questions the defense wants the state to clarify before the trial begins.

“We are asking the state to clarify if they think that shovel is a murder weapon, if they think that shovel was used in some form of removal of the body, if that hair left on the shovel is indication of anything outside the fact that a person owned a shovel and happened to live at that home,” they stated to the courtroom.

District Attorney Ray Crouch stated the trial hasn’t started and the defense’s motions are geared towards learning the state’s theory before the trial begins.

“We’ve never stated any theories of the case other than the defendant killed his son and concealed the location of his body and continues to conceal the location of his body as of today,” said Crouch.

The state pointed out that they have provided 10 terabytes to the defense and the judge ultimately denied the motion.

We also learned Wednesday that a doctor, an expert in human trafficking, and a psychologist are among some of the expert witnesses expected to testify during the murder trial.  

“He would testify into how he is manipulated and tricked into making essentially an involuntary false confession,” Public Defender Jake Lockert explained to the court.

It’s testimony from a doctor that the defense wants heard as they claim Joseph Daniels’ confession of killing his five-year-old son was a coerced false confession.

“He would be testifying in regard to the interrogation techniques used and the re-technique and how that moved the defendant from saying that the child just got out of the house to the point where he said he beat the child to death in the living room and got rid of the body,” Lockert explained.

The defense also plans to call on a psychologist from Vanderbilt University Medical Center. The judge read some of her findings to the court.  

“That he was diagnosed with bipolar at a young age when he was 16, at 18 he had psychotic symptoms, paranoid beliefs about the government, psychiatrically hospitalized following a suicide attempt and so forth,” read Judge Wolfe.

The defense is trying to prevent the state from using the defendant’s mental health record to cross-examine the psychologist.

Meanwhile, the state is preparing to rebuttal any theories the defense may throw their way regarding the disappearance of Joe Clyde Daniels.

“Mrs. Quin’s expertise are in the area of human trafficking, she was a career investigator at the TBI prior to going into private practice, she was head of the human trafficking division,” the District Attorney explained.

The defense has said before that there is no proof Joe Clyde Daniels is deceased and could still be out there.

Thursday, the defense plans to bring in a woman whose daughter said she saw a child matching the description of baby Joe, after the father’s claims of when he killed the child.

News 2 will be live streaming from the courtroom.

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