FORT WORTH (KFDX/KJTL) — Almost four and a half years after the tragic death of 2-year-old Jason Wilder McDaniel, testimony gets underway Monday morning in the capital murder trial of the man accused of ending Wilder’s life, James Staley.
Presiding Judge Everett Young granted a motion to change the venue from Wichita County to Tarrant County in August. The Tim Curry Criminal Justice Center in the heart of downtown Fort Worth will host this trial.
Staley is accused of the murder of 2-year-old Wilder McDaniel after the toddler was found dead inside Staley’s home in October of 2018.
Staley was indicted for wilder’s murder in 2020, nearly two years after Wilder dies, and then, in August of 2022, Judge Young ruled to move the trial to Fort Worth, after the defense filed a motion claiming Staley could not receive a fair trial in Wichita Falls.
On Friday, February 24, 2023, jury selection was completed, the last step before proceedings can officially get underway.
Over 350 names are on the state’s potential witness list, with over 100 experts designated,
including multiple members of the Wichita Falls Police Department, United Regional, Clinics of North Texas, and The Southwestern Institute of Forensics in Dallas.
Also, a potential witness for the state, Wilder’s mother, Amber McDaniel, has charges of child endangerment and tampering with evidence pending in connection to her son’s death.
The trial starts two days after what would’ve been wilder’s seventh birthday.
Judge Young has told the Texoma’s Homepage, KFDX, and KJTL team that he will not be allowing cameras or recording of any kind inside the courtroom during this trial, but we will be in the gallery every single day until a verdict is reached.
The news team will be updating the audience live from the courthouse in Fort Worth every night at 6. The day’s proceedings will be published in detail on our website Texoma’s Homepage.