FORT WORTH (KFDX/KJTL) — Testimony resumed in the capital murder trial of James Irven Staley, III, at around 9 a.m. on Friday, March 3, 2023, the last day of the first week of testimony in the trial.
More evidence was taken from Staley’s seized phone
The first witness called to testify on Friday morning was Steve Gemperle with the Secret Service Forensics Lab in San Antonio, Texas, and is designated as an expert by the prosecution.
Gemperle was able to access more information from Staley’s phone after it was sent to the forensics lab for a re-examination. His testimony was brief, with no cross-examination from defense attorneys Mark Daniel and Terri Moore.
Wichita County District Attorney John Gillespie then called to the stand Detective Jason Jones with the Midwestern State University Police, who recently retired from the Wichita Falls Police Department after 22 years.
Jones testified that following the additional extraction of information from Staley’s phone by the Secret Service Forensics Lab, he was able to take the extracted data and convert it into a format that is readable.
Did Staley leave his house the night Wilder died?
Next on the stand was Jason Hawks, who owns a consulting company in Southern California that reviews records and extractions from cell phones. He’s been designated as an expert witness in 40 trials in several different states.
Hawks specializes in analyzing cellular tower data, which can be used to determine approximate locations, based on the different types of information sent to cellular towers.
Hawks testified that he analyzed the cellular tower data of both Staley’s phone as well as the phone of Amber McDaniel, Wilder’s mother, beginning on the night of October 10, 2018, until the morning of October 11, 2018, when Wilder’s body was found inside Staley’s residence.
Hawks testified he completed a report following his analysis, and he said his findings suggested Staley’s phone and McDaniel’s phone were in the same location at or near Staley’s residence until 2:34 a.m., then sometime between then and 2:53 a.m., Staley’s phone registered at Staley’s office, suggesting he may have left the residence before Wilder’s body was found later that morning.
According to Hawks’s testimony, his findings were consistent with Staley being at the residence with McDaniel, then leaving and going to his office, though he emphasized he can only provide the timeframes in which a cellular phone moved from one point to another, and did not speculate as to what Staley was doing during the time he was not at the residence.
Dispatcher recalls taking Amber’s 911 call
The next witness to take the stand on behalf of the State was Jessica Isaacson, who has been an emergency dispatcher in Wichita Falls since 2012.
Isaacson testified that she recalled receiving a call for emergency assistance on the morning of October 11, 2018, and later learned it came from Amber McDaniel, who was a co-worker of hers at the time.
The heartbreaking call was then played in the courtroom. Amber can be heard screaming, repeating phrases such as “please” and “oh my God”, while screaming the address of Staley’s home.
Isaacson said she had trouble understanding what Amber was saying during that call. The call came from a phone number that has been recognized throughout proceedings as Staley’s phone.
“She was hysterical,” Isaacson testified.
Several members of Wilder’s family attending the trial as a part of the audience began to tear up and show an emotional response upon hearing the 911 call.
First week of testimony concludes today
Members of Wilder’s family have informed us that a video taken on a GoPro of Staley violently slapping Wilder while he was asleep on a couch, a video Prosecutor Lisa Tanner warned the jury they’d have to watch during this trial, will be shown to the court on Friday afternoon.
Texoma’s Homepage has also learned that Wilder’s mother, Amber McDaniel, will not be taking the witness stand on Friday, but will begin testifying against Staley on Monday, March 6, 2023, when proceedings resume.
The first week of the capital murder trial of James Staley will conclude following the return from recess and resumption of testimony on Friday, March 3, 2023.
This is a developing story. Stick with Texoma’s Homepage for updates as the capital murder trial of James Staley in connection to Wilder McDaniel’s death takes place at the Tim Curry Criminal Justice Center in Fort Worth, Texas.