NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Friday marked the last day of motions hearing before the Joe Clyde Daniels trial, which will start June 1.
The father, Joseph Daniels, is charged with the murder of his 5-year-old son. Daniels confessed to killing his son and disposing of his body in three confession videos since the boy disappeared in 2018.
Daniels has recanted the confession since, but now the question is: will those confessions be allowed and used as evidence in the trial?
On Friday, Judge Wolfe said next week he will make a written ruling if the confession videos will be allowed in trial.
Dr. Richard Ofshe, a social psychologist and professor at the University of California Berkley, took the stand as an expert on police interrogation methods. He says his research proves Joseph Daniels’ interview with two TBI agents was coerced. He says they forced him to believe he murdered his son.
“He’s trying to get across the message your situation is hopeless because we’ve got you, we’ve got all that other information we won’t tell you about and we’re not going to give up,” Dr. Ofshe explains as he analyzes a written transcript of the interview.
One of Dr. Ofshe’s reasons Daniels was coerced was because he failed a polygraph test.
“You’ll see as we go forward, the interrogators use his failure on the polygraph to constantly tell him we know you know the answer to whatever question they have asked,” Dr. Ofshe comments. “And the reason they know that is because he failed the polygraph.”
“You are only recalling what you believe is helpful for the defendant,” argues District Attorney Ray Crouch. He says Dr. Ofshe’s analysis is biased saying he needs to look at the other two confession videos and evidence before he makes these statements.
“So how is this not relevant when we have eight things provided to the defendant to Dr. Ofshe to make this report. But very specific things, including the defendant’s confessions, additional confessions that were not given to him. That’s the defense intentionally skewing the outcome of this report,” argues Crouch.
A cell phone data expert also testified on Friday whether Joseph Daniels’ phone moved the night Baby Joe went missing. Judge Wolf ruled that data and other Google data will be allowed in trial.