The trial for the father of Joe Clyde Daniels, a 5-year-old boy with autism who went missing in Dickson County in 2018, is set to start this week.

Judge David Wolfe has ruled to separate the trials of the father and mother. The father, Joseph Ray Daniels, is charged with murder. The mother, Krystal Daniels, is charged with aggravated child neglect. No date is set for her trial.

Jury selection for the trial of Joseph Daniels is expected to start Tuesday out of the county, with trial proceedings starting later in the week. The trial may last a month.

Wolfe has denied a change of venue request and ordered that jurors be picked from outside the county in a non-publicized location.

Police say the father admitted to beating the child to death, placing his body in the trunk of his car and disposing of him in an unknown place. No body has been found.

Later, he rescinded his confession. He has shared multiple versions of events, including saying the boy’s mother killed him. He also sent a letter to the boy’s grandparents alleging that Joe Clyde was alive.

His attorney, Jake Lockert, has argued that the confession was coerced. He has also cited the lack of physical evidence to prove that Joseph Daniels killed the boy in the home.

District Attorney Ray Crouch has alleged Joseph Daniels beat the boy to death in the family’s home in April 2018.

The trial has been postponed several times since 2018 for missing DNA testing, new data and COVID-19. It is completely under seal.

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