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James Staley’s trial will begin on February 22

WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) — The trial for the man accused of killing 2-year-old Wilder McDaniel at his home in October of 2018 will begin Wednesday, February 22, 2023 in Tarrant County, according to Wichita County judge Jim Johnson.

Wichita County Commissioners on Monday approved a consent agenda item to sign an agreement with the Fort Worth Inn to reserve a block of vanity rooms for the Wichita County District Attorney’s office for use in next few weeks during the James Staley III case.

Johnson said the 2023 budget, approved in September 2022, had funds set aside for Staley’s trial. County officials knew it would be expensive since the trial was taking place in another county, so they went over budget on the spending to make sure they had enough funds, according to Johnson.

In addition to county funds in the budget, Johnson said Wichita County also used funding from a state grant of about $200,000 to help defray costs related to capital murder cases.

Staley pleaded not guilty to the crime. In August 2022, Staley’s relocation application was approved and his trial was moved to Tarrant County.

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

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