FORT WORTH (KFDX/KJTL) — A jury in Tarrant County has reached a verdict in the capital murder trial of James Irven Staley, III, for the death of 2-year-old Jason Wilder McDaniel

Staley, 40, of Wichita Falls, has been found guilty of capital murder for the 2018 killing of Wilder McDaniel. 

Staley will spend the rest of his life in prison without the possibility of parole. 

Amber McDaniel, Wilder’s mother, was observed standing in the front row of Auxiliary Trial Room A with other members of the Wichita County District Attorney’s office when the guilty verdict was read by the foreman of the jury.

McDaniel, along with over a dozen other members of Wilder’s family, began crying tears of joy after the verdict was read, and the justice they’d sought for years was finally delivered by the hands of 12 jury members in Tarrant County.

The jury began deliberating at around noon on Monday, March 13, 2023, following closing arguments by the prosecution and the defense.

The capital murder trial began on Monday, February 27, 2023, in Auxillary Trial Room A in the Tim Curry Criminal Justice Center in Fort Worth. 

Prior to the start of the trial, Wichita County District Attorney John Gillespie filed a motion informing the defense that they would not seek the death penalty for Staley in this trial. 

This is a developing story. Stick with Texoma’s Homepage for continuing coverage following the conclusion of the capital murder trial of James Staley.