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Staley lawyers file for change of venue, delaying trial

Staley is charged with the capital murder of two-year-old Jason “Wilder” McDaniel, who was...
Staley is charged with the capital murder of two-year-old Jason “Wilder” McDaniel, who was found dead in October of 2018.(kauz)
Published: Jan. 19, 2022 at 4:10 PM CST
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - Lawyers for James Staley III filed for a change of venue on Wednesday, further delaying the murder trial.

The judge had just asked lawyers to recess into his chambers to discuss trial dates when Staley’s legal team announced they would file a motion to change the venue of the trial. The potential trial dates then became potential dates of hearings for a change of venue.

The motion for a change of venue stated that “negative publicity, the campaign for Justice for Wilder, and the extensive community discussion has effectively destroyed or removed the presumption of innocence… this carefully planned pervasive campaign has tainted the prospective local jury pool in Wichita County.”

Staley has been charged with the capital murder of two-year-old Jason “Wilder” McDaniel, who was found dead in October of 2018. He also faces charges of tampering with evidence and injury to a child. Wichita County prosecutors had previously announced they would not seek the death penalty in the capital murder case against Staley, instead saying they would ask the jury for a sentence of life without parole.

An appointed Senior District Judge of the 297th district in Tarrant County, Judge Everet Young, is presiding over the case after two local judges and a third special judge all recused themselves.

A new court date had not been set at the time this story was published.

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