WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Bubba McDaniel is speaking out following charges being filed against his wife Amber McDaniel in connection to the death of their 2-year-old son Jason Wilder McDaniel.
“She didn’t kill him, she didn’t have anything to do with killing him, can they charge her with endangerment sure go ahead,” Bubba McDaniel said.
Amber McDaniel now faces charges of child endangerment and tampering with evidence in connection with the death of her son Wilder, who was found dead in October of 2018 in the home of her then, boyfriend, James Staley, III.
Bubba McDaniel said he just learned Thursday of the details of text exchanges between Amber and Staley but he and Amber have had hard conversations on why she stayed with Staley, putting their son in danger.
Detectives made a break in their investigation in April when the secret service lab was able to unlock encrypted messaging on James Staley’s phone.
The affidavit details graphic, uncensored examples of texts exchanges between Amber and Staley which investigators said show a constant and escalating pattern of violence and hatred that Staley directed toward Wilder.
“I don’t know if she knew how serious that was at that time,” Bubba McDaniel said.
James: “Only the good die young. That ‘expletive’ is living forever.”
Amber responds: “lmao stop.”
James: “I’ll come terrorize Wilder and get the day started off right.”
James: “If it’s me, I’ll just beat it out of him.”
These are just a few of the text exchanges between Amber and James Staley just days leading up to Jason Wilder McDaniel’s death in October of 2018.
Messages the arrest affidavit and Wichita Fall Police Department’s sergeant Charlie Eipper said Amber deleted and chose not to disclose until they were retrieved a few months ago because she knew they make her look bad.
“You start to see some of the intent that is being built through these messages which are connected to the abandoning or endangering of child charges she has is because of those threats,” Eipper said.
Amber McDaniel turned herself in early Thursday morning, on a warrant charging her with abandoning or endangering a child as well as tampering with evidence.
She faces a maximum 20-year sentence if convicted.
“They tried to tell us that they needed more evidence that was conclusive upon the evidence they had, they’ve got blood, they have fingernail clippings, they have all these other things and they still tried to say oh we can’t get him but yet a couple of messages are gonna do it, no you’re a liar,” Bubba McDaniel said.
Back in June of last year both Staley and Amber were named as persons of interest in the case.
Bubba McDaniel said that while he was unaware of these text messages, he and his wife had conversations in the past and knew she would face some consequences.
“No matter what happens it’s constantly justice for Wilder, she knew that she would have to possibly pay some kind of price for being there, we’ve talked about this for years, we thought it’d be earlier than this to tell the truth,” Bubba McDaniel said. “If she had left him and gone, we’d be okay, we’d still have a son, but here is the thing though it’s like I said, this man was a manipulator.”
Bubba said this is a tragedy but there is just one person he believes is to blame for his son’s death.
“James Staley killed my son, James Staley was the one that was saying all these things, James Staley manipulated her to stay there, James Staley is the one that we are taking the light off of and it’s all him,” Bubba McDaniel said. “When you see a man talking about your son like that you just kinda have to just grit your teeth, I’ve dealt with worst, I’ve known worst, I’ve had worst happen right now I’m just kinda going through the motions.”
But police and prosecutors believe that had Amber McDaniel acted as most mothers would to protect their children, Wilder most likely would still be alive.
Sergeant Eipper said had she disclosed the text messages sooner it would have taken weeks or months off the investigation.
“I think it could’ve sped up the investigation so we could’ve maybe made an arrest earlier,” Eipper said. “It certainly would’ve taken care of the tampering.”
“It’s not about me, it’s not about Amber it’s not about anything but making James Staley pay the price,” Bubba McDaniel said.
James Staley is charged with the Capital Murder by Suffocation of Wilder.
He has a pretrial set on his charge on August 12.