Grand Jury indicts James Staley on capital murder for the death of Wilder McDaniel

Local News

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — James Staley, III, was indicted by the Wichita County Grand Jury for the capital murder of Jason Wilder McDaniel and punishment is either death or life without parole, according to a press release from the Wichita Falls District Attorney’s Office

James Staley, III Okmulgee County Jail mugshot from October 8, 2020

The Grand Jury also returned an indictment for first-degree felony murder, which has a range of punishment up to life. This is also for the murder of Jason Wilder McDaniel.

Felony murder is a different means of committing murder; therefore, the second county permits the jury to consider both means of murder.

On occasion, the facts of a crime may fit two different offenses under the law.

A jury can consider both but will be instructed it can only return a conviction on one offense.

The District Attorney’s Office will conduct a thorough review of whether to seek death. This is the process followed in every capital case. Such a review will include consideration of a defendant’s prior criminal history, mental health history, the nature of the evidence, and a recommendation by a forensic psychologist on the degree of future dangerousness, among other factors. At the conclusion of the review, the Capital Committee within the DA’s Office will make a recommendation to the District Attorney. The District Attorney will then make that decision.

According to a Wichita County Courthouse source, the Wichita County DA’s office has not tried a death penalty case since Faryion Wardrip in 1999.

Staley is still listed on the Okmulgee County Jail roster at the time of publication.

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