CHARLOTTE, TN (WSMV) - The older brother of Joe Clyde Daniels testified Joseph Daniels threatened to kill him after he saw his stepfather lay his son down in the yard.
The testimony came during the fourth day of testimony in the Joseph Daniels’ murder trial at the Dickson County Justice Center.
Alex Nolan, who was 8 years old when Joe Clyde disappeared, is the biological son of Krystal Daniels. He lived with his mom and Joseph Daniels at the Garners Creek Road home in 2018. Now 11, Alex lives with his aunt and uncle, Krystal’s brother.
Alex is the first person to testify who was inside the home when Joe Clyde Daniels went missing. There were many tears inside the courtroom because bringing him back to that night was difficult.
Alex, who stayed in the same bedroom as Joe Clyde, said Joseph Daniels came into the room and beat the 5-year-old after Joe Clyde peed on the floor. Alex said he went back to sleep but was woken by a loud bang and saw Joe Clyde on the floor.
Alex said Joseph Daniels threatened to kill him after he saw his stepfather lay Joe Clyde down in the yard.
“I saw him lay Joe down. He was on his knees looking around, but a couple of minutes after that he saw me,” Alex said.
He said he went back to sleep and when he woke up, Joseph Daniels told him Joe Clyde escaped.
When the defense attorneys cross-examined Alex, he said he told false stories after that night.
In a video interview played by the defense, Alex was questioned two days after Joe Clyde disappeared by a Child Advocacy Center investigator with a different story.
He testified he lied for Joseph Daniels.
“I tried to protect him because I didn’t want him to get in trouble,” Alex testified.
There were a couple of breaks during Alex’s testimony because he had difficulty getting through.
Two interviews Alex did with the Child Advocacy Center days after his brother’s disappearance were also heard in court on Monday.
In the video interviews, you hear Alex try to recall what took place that night. He has trouble telling the interviewer what happened and tells a story saying he teleported that night and may have sleepwalked.
When the worker left the room, he began to open up to the therapy dog. He said he’s happy his dad is in jail saying he no longer has custody of him, and he got away from the evil.
When the defense questioned Alex on the stand after, he said his story was a lie as he was trying to protect Joseph Daniels.
“I told the other one, but this one is obviously a lie. To be 100% honest, I just wanted to get out of there,” Alex testified.
“Some of the things you said were to protect the defendant?” District Attorney Ray Crouch asked.
“Yeah, but that was before I knew that he killed him,” Alex replied.
“OK, you don’t want to protect him anymore?” Crouch questioned.
“No,” Alex replied.
The Child Advocacy Center interviewer took the stand during a motion hearing and said it takes time for a child’s brain to process things. These interviews happened days after Joe Clyde went missing in April 2018. Alex was scared and his brain hadn’t completely processed what took place.
The state also called Daniel McCormick to the stand. He's a neighbor who drove down Garner Creek Rd the night Joe Clyde Daniels went missing and recalls seeing a person on the side of the road with a skeleton pajamas. He says he signed a document verifying it was not the shirt Joseph Daniels was seen wearing inside a Dollar General the day before.