James Staley trial moves to Tarrant County

James Staley III.
James Staley III.(KAUZ)
Published: Aug. 10, 2022 at 4:22 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - Judge Everett Young approved a change of venue request Wednesday for James Staley III, who is accused of murdering 2-year-old Wilder McDaniel in his home in October of 2018. He has pleaded not guilty.

The trial will now take place in a Tarrant County district court.

Staley’s attorneys had said the local jury pool has been tainted against him due to media coverage and Facebook outcry, and the safety of Staley and anyone connected to the case was also a concern.

They also cited the inoperable Wichita County Courthouse elevator as a reason why the venue should be changed: “Fundamental due process prohibits jurors . . . from viewing the accused in handcuffs or restraints during a criminal trial,” Staley’s team argued in court documents.

The court reportedly found that news coverage on the trial was “very extensive and widespread - more so than almost any case in Wichita County during the past several years,” while the tone of the coverage has been “mostly prejudicial against the Defendant, James Staley, and sympathetic for the victim, Jason Wilder McDaniel, and his parents.”

The court found that media coverage has been “in large part factual and not inflammatory,” according to court documents. The court also called the courthouse elevator issue a “moot” matter.

Another issue cited in court documents was the “actions taken and threatened” by Bubba McDaniel, the father of Wilder.

This is a developing story. Stick with News Channel 6 as we learn more.

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