WICHITA COUNTY (KFDX/KJTL) — A judge has ordered a change of venue for the trial of James Staley, who is charged with the murder of two-year-old Wilder McDaniel in 2018.
Staley’s trial will now take place in Tarrant County District Court in Fort Worth, according to Judge Young’s decision.
The decision comes exactly three months after the original motion was filed in 89th District Court.
Judge Young said media coverage of the trial has been pervasive and mostly prejudicial against Staley and sympathetic to McDaniel’s family, though he said the coverage has been mostly factual and not inflammatory.
According to Judge Young, the case has received more extensive coverage than any other case in Wichita County in the past several years.
Further, Judge Young said most of the inflammatory information has been initiated by Wilder’s father, Bubba McDaniel, who the judge said promoted a threat to kill Staley on October 26, 2018, with a $10,000 reward to anyone providing his location.
Staley’s defense team submitted additional reasons for a venue change in July 2022, one of which was the fact that the Wichita County Courthouse has a single elevator that currently does not operate.
Judge Young said the faulty elevator in the Wichita County Courthouse was a moot point in granting the change of venue since Staley is out of jail on bond.
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More on the Wilder McDaniel Murder Trial:
- Elevator becomes issue in Staley change of venue motion
- Affidavit alleges body of Wilder McDaniel staged
- Staley will not face death penalty in Wilder McDaniel murder case
- Mother of Wilder McDaniel indicted on charges related to his death
- James Staley pleas “Not Guilty” to the murder of Wilder McDaniel
- James Staley indicted for capital murder of Wilder McDaniel
- Autopsy for slain two-year-old Wilder McDaniel suggests homicide
- Protest marks one-year anniversary of death of Wilder McDaniel
- WFPD chief holds press conference providing updates on Wilder McDaniel case