Joe Clyde murder: Dad found guilty of beating autistic son to death for urinating on floor
While Joseph Daniels was acquitted by the jury of his first degree murder charges, the felony conviction carries a life sentence
DICKSON COUNTY, TENNESSEE: A father accused of murdering his autistic, nonverbal toddler son in 2018 was recently found guilty by a Dickson County jury. The sentence arrived on Saturday, June 12, where the jury found the Tennessee father, Joseph Daniels, guilty of second-degree murder, first-degree murder in perpetration of a felony, aggravated child abuse, tampering with evidence, and initiating a false report. Although Daniels was acquitted by the jury of his first degree murder charges, the felony conviction carries a life sentence, reports local outlet Fox 17.
News of this brutal murder resurfaces less than a month since a Florida father and son were found dead in an apparent murder-suicide on May 21, after the child's mother had alerted authorities requesting the child be removed from the father's care. Meanwhile, slain Texas toddler Cash Gernon's kidnap suspect Darriynn Brown was also charged with the four-year-old Texas toddler's murder. And exactly a month ago, ex-NYPD cop Michael Valva's trial for the death of his son, 8, heard that the father had forced the son to spend overnight in a freezing garage while the family dog slept inside in a heated room.
Daniels' conviction, however, comes three years after the Tennessee father had called 911 on April 4, 2018, and reported his son had disappeared from home. For the next two days, authorities carried out an intense search for the five-year-old Joe Clyde, before the deceased toddler's father, Daniels, admitted killing his son. It has since been reported that Daniels later recanted the confession.
Daniels' wife, and the boy’s mother, Krystal Daniels, had allegedly told investigators she was in their home on April 4, when her husband had killed their son by beating the boy to death. The mother has also been charged with aggravated child neglect for failing to protect the toddler. Speaking to Newschannel 5 at the time of her husband's trial, Krystal had, however, said that she didn't believe that Daniels killed the boy. The mother's trial date has not been set yet, and she remains in prison in lieu of a $1 million bond.
Daniels' murder trial has also seen dramatic testimony put forth, with the toddler's now 11-year-old brother telling the court that Daniels, his stepfather, had beaten Joe Clyde after the boy had urinated on the bedroom floor. He then added that later he saw Daniels carry the toddler's body down the road. When Daniels got back, he told the other child that his brother had run away.
Defense attorney Jake Lockert had presented no witnesses in the trial, but he told Fox 17 after the verdict that had he realized “what the verdict was going to be, then I would’ve presented more proof.” Daniels' charges of felony murder are essentially the same as first-degree premeditated murder, with both carrying life sentences. If his appeals are not successful, Daniels is likely to spend the rest of his life behind bars.
Lockert also told the media that they would be appearing for a new trial. The soon-to-be retiring attorney said he wouldn't be leading the appeal, adding: "In a case like this where your client confesses multiple times and makes admissions against interest multiple times, it’s a difficult case to defend."