WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — The Capital Murder trial of James Irven Staley the Third in the 2018 death of Wilder McDaniel continues Wednesday in Fort Worth.
Our Digital Reporter Josh Hoggard is in Fort Worth at the Tim Curry Criminal Justice Center with a recap of the defense attorney’s cross-examination of the former lead detective on the case and what we can expect on Wednesday, March 1.
The detective was assigned to the case from the time the 911 call came in about an unresponsive Wilder in October 2018 until May of 2020.
When the detective took the stand, he recounted when he arrived at the Staley residence on Irving Place and found Staley, not with Amber McDaniel and Wilder, but sitting in a closet in the fetal position with his knees pulled up.
He later said that Staley was cooperative and agreed to a sign search, but when he informed Staley that every death is investigated criminally until they can prove that it’s not criminal, he said Staley began to sob.
Shortly thereafter, the court was shown a portion of an interview the detective conducted with Wilder’s mother Amber, and when he mentioned that blood was found in Wilder’s crib, you can see Amber on the video expressing shock, covering her mouth and saying, “Did James do something?”
Following that, she buried her head in her hands and began to sob very loudly.
An aggressive cross-examination picked up afterward.
Defense attorney Mark Daniel appeared confrontational toward the detective, questioning some of the facts in his more than 90 page report and at times raising his voice to the detective as if he was yelling.
The detective was on the stand yesterday for about 4 hours, but Wednesday morning will pick up with the remainder of the defense’s cross-examination.
Following that, the court is expect to hear testimony from a woman who was sworn in by Judge Everett Young during Tuesday’s proceedings. Her name is Amber Campisi.
If that name sounds familiar, she’s part of a family that owns a successful chain of restaurants in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
The jury will hear from her following the end of the defense’s cross-examination.