DICKSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — Security will be tight inside the new Dickson County Justice Center as Joseph Daniels stands trial for the alleged murder of his five-year-old son, Joe Clyde, known as “Baby Joe.”
“You’re always worried about someone that may have not good intentions and show up,” Dickson County Mayor Bob Rial explained.
The 70,000-square-foot, Dickson County Justice Center is now 99% complete, but due to COVID-19 delays, the rush was on it to get it done in time for what is arguably one of the most high-profile cases ever tried in the county, Mayor Rial told News 2 on Tuesday.
“We’re still fine-tuning some things, but overall, it’s ready to go and prepared to handle a trial of this magnitude,” he said.
Mayor Rial said the old courthouse where the trial would have been held, built back in 1976, houses other government offices, not really lending itself to a case like this.
“You have a lot of cross traffic there with people doing simple work that come to a county clerk or to the mayor’s office versus going to court, so having this separated, it’s going to make it a lot more neater and cleaner and more secure,” Rial explained.
Jury selection for the Joseph Daniels trial began Tuesday morning in Hamilton County, where both sides hope to seat an impartial jury by the end of the day on Wednesday, allowing the trial to begin in Dickson County as early as Thursday or Friday.
Joseph Daniels is charged with criminal homicide after court documents allege he reported his son missing on April 4, 2018, but later confessed to fatally beating the child, who had autism and was non-verbal, while the boy’s mother, Krystal Daniels witnessed the assault and went to bed, instead of helping her son.
Investigators said Joseph Daniels admitted he dumped Joe Clyde’s body in a remote area, but the boy’s remains have never been located.
Joseph Daniels, who has been jailed at Riverbend Maximum Security Institution in Nashville, has been transported to Hamilton County for jury selection.
During the trial, he is expected to be held in the Dickson County jail, where his wife, Krystal Daniels is jailed on a charge of aggravated child abuse and neglect. She will be tried separately from her husband.
News 2 will have live streaming coverage of Joseph Daniels’ trial at WKRN.com. Josh Breslow will be joined by a legal expert to provide analysis on the trial from the opening statements to the verdict.