DICKSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — Testimony that ‘Baby Joe’ may have been seen, after the father’s claims that he killed him, was shared in a Dickson County courtroom Thursday.
Charity Lawrence took the stand, saying her 4-year-old daughter made the claims when Joe Clyde Daniels went missing three years ago.
“What did your daughter tell you?” the defense asked.
“That she saw a little boy walking down the road, and muddy, in pajamas, and he was talking to her for a minute and then just kept walking,” the mother responded.
The sighting was on Mill Town Road. The defense said Baby Joe, who was autistic, often referred to himself by his age.
Public Defender Jake Lockert asked Lawrence how the boy responded, when asked his name.
“He said 5, and then he also said 15, and then he also went back and forth,” she explained from the stand.
The woman says she was concerned and filed a report with the Humphreys County Sheriff’s Office.
“I called the day after and asked if they are still searching, and they said they hadn’t yet and they will.”
The defense pointed out that the witnesses’ father is a registered sex offender that lived on the same property.
Prosecutors brought in two employees with the Sheriff’s Office who said they drove around the area aiding in the search for Baby Joe, but never searched the property of the sighting.
“I drove around, and I just looked everywhere possible that the child could be, but I didn’t actually get out on foot,” a detective explained from the stand.
The judge ultimately sided with the state.
“What we were talking about is untrustworthy evidence. The evidence that’s before the court is of a 4-year-old child, who her mother has testified has no memory of this event,” prosecutors stated.
Judge David Wolfe ruled that the child can be brought in as witness during the trial, but the statement and testimony will be excluded. He made a similar ruling regarding statements of Matthew Ledford, a neighbor of the Daniels’.
On Friday, the defense plans to bring in a cell phone expert and a doctor as the motion hearings in the murder trial of Baby Joe continue. We will be live streaming from the courtroom on WKRN.com.