CHARLOTTE, TN (WSMV) - It was an emotional day in court in the Joseph Daniels’ trial on Tuesday.
The state showed video of Daniels confessing to killing his son, 5-year-old Joe Clyde Daniels, in April 2018.
Since that video, Daniels has recanted his confession saying he was coerced.
There were multiple pre-trial motions to allow the confession to be shown to the jury. Circuit Court Judge David Wolfe finally ruled late Monday that the state could use the confession.
On Tuesday, the defense took the morning to watch the redacted version the state submitted before the jury saw it.
The video is a key piece of evidence for the prosecution, but the defense continues to say its coerced.
When TBI agent Joey Boyd took the stand, the state played the video interview he had with Joseph Daniels at the Dickson Police Department two days after Joe Clyde went missing.
Boyd said Daniels came to the police department that day willingly.
In the video, Daniels tells Boyd that Joe Clyde woke up that night, moved the coffee table and unlocked the padlock on the backdoor.
Daniels said when he woke up, Joe Clyde was missing so he went to search for him outside.
“I told Krystal he’s gone,” Daniels said in the video. “You told her that?” Boyd asked. “He’s gone, yeah,” Daniels replied.
In the interview, Boyd presses Daniels saying he needs to tell the truth.
In the video, the pressure gets to Daniels, who gets frustrated and changes his story.
Toward the end of the three-hour long interview, Daniels admits to killing Joe Clyde, saying he wanted to get out of that interview.
“Did you tell him to? You told him to go outside?” Boyd asked Daniels in the video.
Daniels nodded his head yes.
For Daniels’ parents, although they’ve seen the confession video before, they left the courtroom a couple of times because it was difficult for them to watch.
Testimony began earlier Tuesday when Jenny Jones, a neighbor of the Daniels, was the first person to testify on Tuesday morning.
She said she saw someone standing on a bridge/guard rail near her home at 1450 Garners Creek Rd. around 1:30 a.m. on April 4, 2018, the day Joe Clyde disappeared.
Jones testified she saw a man wearing a multi-colored shirt and red shorts. She said she didn’t see a dead child, but claimed she saw Daniels’ face. She said she reported this after she saw the news coverage.
Jones gave a written statement before the trial saying the person she saw never looked at her, but she testified Tuesday that the person did.
Boyd was called to the stand to introduce the video as evidence.
The defense team said it had not had a chance to see the redacted version of the confession video that was to be introduced. Wolfe called for a recess to allow for the defense team to view the video before it was played for the jury.
The trial went into recess for about three hours before a hearing was held at noon.
Public defender Jake Lockert, who is representing Daniels, watched the redacted confession video during the break. He asked for a part of the video involving dogs being dropped off to not be shown to the jury.
The court went back into a short recess the allow the state to cut out pieces of the transcript the defense team asked to be removed before it was given to the jury.
The trial resumed just before 1 p.m. when the prosecution played the confession video.
Boyd met with Daniels on April 6, 2018, at the Dickson Police Department before his arrest. Boyd said Daniels drove himself and his wife Krystal to the interview.
Daniels is charged with first degree murder, first degree murder in perpetration of a felony, aggravated child abuse, initiating a false report and tampering with evidence.
Krystal Daniels, Joe Clyde’s mother, is also facing charges of aggravated child neglect.