Wilder McDaniel wrongful death lawsuit delayed

Local News

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — The trial date of the civil lawsuit filed by the parents of two-year-old Jason “Wilder” McDaniel has been delayed.

The new trial date is set for November 9, 2020, at 8:00 a.m.

The judge presiding over the wrongful death lawsuit filed by Wilder’s parents in the 134th District Court in Dallas County granted a Motion for Continuance of Trial Setting on Tuesday.

In April 2019, Wilder’s parents, Amber Odom McDaniel and Bubba McDaniel, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Staley in Dallas County for more than $1 million.

The jury trial was originally set for June 22, 2020, at 9 a.m.

As KFDX originally reported, the cause and manner of Wilder’s death are both listed as undetermined by the Dallas County Medical Examiner’s Office. His body was found at Staley’s Wichita Falls home on Irving Place on October 11, 2018.

On October 22, 2018, police conducted a follow-up evidence search at the home of Staley, who has never been named a suspect or person of interest by law enforcement.

In the lawsuit, Amber Odom McDaniel said she met Staley about a year after she and Bubba McDaniel split up. Amber Odom McDaniel said 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, Amber Odom McDaniel 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, Amber Odom McDaniel said Staley called her and told her to come over with Wilder to stay the night.

When Amber Odom McDaniel 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, Amber 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, Amber Odom McDaniel 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, Amber Odom McDaniel 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, Amber Odom McDaniel and Bubba 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.

The lawsuit states that 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, the plaintiffs believe Staley is solely responsible for the death of Wilder.

Staley filed a response to the lawsuit, denying all allegations in the lawsuit.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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