Parents of Wilder McDaniel file lawsuit for death of their son

Local News

The parent’s of Jason Wilder McDaniel filed a lawsuit Friday accusing James Staley of assault, negligence and gross negligence related to the death of their son for more than $1 million.

In the document, Amber Odom also shared her account of what happened leading up to Wilder’s death. 

The cause and manner of Wilder’s death are both listed as undetermined by the Dallas County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Wilder’s body was found at Staley’s home on Irving Place on Oct. 11, 2018.

On Oct. 22, 2018, police conducted a follow-up evidence search at the home of Staley. 

In January 2019, Wichita Falls Police Chief Manuel Borrego said Wilder’s death was investigated as a homicide like all child death cases until evidence proves otherwise.

In the lawsuit, Odom said she met Staley about a year after she and McDaniel split up.

Odom says on Oct. 10, 2018, she took Wilder to daycare before she went to class then picked him up early before going to one of Staley’s rental properties.

There, Odom said she told Staley she would meet him at his house but said he told her he was going out for drinks.

Later that night, Odom said Staley called her and told her to come over with Wilder to stay the night.

When Odom was at Staley’s house, she said Staley entered the bathroom while she was bathing Wilder and Wilder became frightened by Staley’s presence and started crying. She said Staley then yelled at the toddler to quit crying.

Also in the lawsuit, Odom said she told Staley he was acting weird and then he didn’t speak to her for the rest of the night.

The next morning, Oct. 11, 2018, Odom said she woke up and realized her alarm didn’t go off then rushed to get Wilder assuming they were late. She also added when she went toward Wilder’s room she noticed his door was open which was unusual and he wasn’t in his crib.

When turning to see if Staley had Wilder, Odom said she saw Wilder lying on the ground and when she went to check on him she said she saw blood coming out of his mouth, blood on the floor and his skin was discolored.

According to the lawsuit, Odom said Staley had a tendency to lose control of his emotions, especially around Wilder. 

In the lawsuit, Odom said when she went to the living room to tell Staley that Wilder was not breathing and asked him to call 911, Staley “without a care in the world” tossed the phone right in front of her on the floor where she was sitting.

In the document, Odom and McDaniel said, “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, Plaintiffs believe Staley is solely responsible for the death of Wilder.”

However, the lawsuit stated Staley began to give CPR to Wilder but, when the paramedics arrived, he was pronounced dead.

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

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