Civil suit involving Wilder McDaniel’s death could go to trial

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WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) Update 1:50 p.m.: Wichita Falls Police Department Public Information Officer Jeff Hughes reached out to Texoma’s Homepage with an official statement in regards to the criminal investigation into Wilder McDaniel’s death.

“The investigation is still currently active and on-going,” Hughes said. “The PIO office will definitely release any further updates when they become available.” 


WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) A Wichita Falls man accused in a civil suit for the death of two-year-old Wilder McDaniel is requesting a jury trial and has formally denied all allegations in the suit.

As we reported, the cause and manner of Jason Wilder McDaniel’s death are both listed as undetermined by the Dallas County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Wilder’s body was found at James Staley’s Wichita Falls home on Irving Place on October 11, 2018.

On October 22, police conducted a follow-up evidence search at the home of Staley — who has never been named a suspect or person of interest by law enforcement.

In April, Wilder’s parents, Amber Odom and Bubba McDaniel, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against James Staley in Dallas County for more than $1-million.

The lawsuit states that based upon information and belief of Staley’s alleged violent and erratic behavior in Wilder’s presence and Staley’s lack of surprise or remorse when Wilder was found lifeless in his room, the plaintiffs believe Staley is solely responsible for the death of Wilder.

However the lawsuit also states Staley began to give CPR to the boy.

Monday, Staley filed a response to the lawsuit, denying all allegations in the lawsuit.

He is also requesting a jury trial and that it be moved from Dallas County to Wichita County because the law requires the suit to be heard in the county where the alleged events happened.

As we learn more we will continue to follow this story.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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