A man convicted of capital murder in the death of his ex-girlfriend’s 2-year-old son got an earful from trial attendees as he was hauled off to spend the rest of his life in prison without parole, according to the Times Record News.
James Irven Staley III was found guilty by a Texas jury of murdering 2-year-old Jason Wilder McDaniel in October 2018 by smothering the boy in his crib with a pillow.
The convicted child killer is a descendent of oil barons. "James Irven Staley, III, is the great-great-grandson of Joseph Albert Staley, who rose to prominence during the Burkburnett oil boom in the 1920s. James Irven Staley Jr. became well-known in Wichita Falls for his business, Staley Oil," Texoma’s Homepage reported.
As he was being cuffed, Staley declared: “I did not kill Wilder McDaniel.” But some in attendance yelled back, “Yes, you did! Yes, you did!” prompting the judge to call for order in the courtroom.
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"Despite suspicions as to Staley’s culpability in the years after Wilder’s death, the long and winding capital murder case did not reach the Wichita Falls oil scion until October 2020. Six months after the murder, the victim’s mother Amber Odom McDaniel filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Staley and married Wilder’s father, Bubba McDaniel," Law&Crime reported. "At trial, Amber McDaniel reportedly admitted to deleting her text messages with Staley and said she was testifying because she 'owe[d] it to [her] son.' She testified against Staley without a deal with the prosecution, even as the child endangerment and evidence tampering charges against her remain pending."
The boy's parents, Bubba and Amber McDaniel, slammed Staley as a coward after the verdict was read.
“I actually did not prepare a statement, but I feel my son deserves this. I’ve waited 4 1/2 years to look you in your eyes and tell you that my 2.5-year-old son is more of a man than you will ever be. You never deserved Wilder in your life," she said. "You have destroyed everything. My son, who is not even a year old yet, will never know his brother because of you. You may have thought you were going to get away with this, and you may have gotten away with many other things in your life, but my 2-year-old son took you down. You are evil."
“It takes a real piece of sh** to stay in that cycle and abuse people who are small and defenseless,” Bubba McDaniel said. “You’ll get to sit in a cell with other men, and those men are going to love you because they’ll know a child killer is with them the rest of his life.”