James Irven Staley exits the Tim Curry Criminal Justice Center in downtown Fort Worth after a day in court Wednesday, March 8, 2023. On Monday March 13, 2023, Staley was convicted of the murder of 2-year-old Jason Wilder McDaniel.
The man convicted of murdering two-year-old Jason Wilder McDaniel bragged about his oil wealth to the child’s mother in 2018 when he pressured her to quit her job at a bar. But on Wednesday a judge deemed James Irven Staley III too poor to hire a lawyer to appeal his murder conviction.
Instead, Wichita County taxpayers will foot the bill for a court-appointed attorney for James Staley’s appeal, officials said. The case is expected to end up in Fort Worth’s Second Circuit Court of Appeals any minute.
Chief District Judge Everett Young on Wednesday appointed criminal defense attorney J. Warren St. John to represent James Staley for the appeal of Monday’s conviction in the Oct. 11, 2018 murder of Wilder at a home in Wichita Falls, court filings show.
Wichita County tax records show James Staley owns a three-bedroom, four-bathroom home with a swimming pool and nearly an acre of land in posh Country Club Estates valued at $525,013. It was once put up for sale on Zillow.
Land records show he lined up the 2000 Irving Place block home, a diamond ring, and oil and gas leases in Archer, Ward, and Wichita counties to receive loan extensions and financial housing from a relative in 2021.
House, ring to secure large loans
The home and diamond ring are listed as security for an $860,000 loan in a deed of trust dated January 8, 2021. A due date for the loan is referenced but not specified in the document.
Jason Wilder McDaniel is shown here with his mother, Amber McDaniel.
Staley pledged his interests in oil and gas leases in another trust deed dated Jan. 8, 2021, in connection with a promissory note. The grade was not specified.
In short, James Staley borrowed a lot of money from the Joe H. Staley Jr. Trust, apparently with oil and gas leases, a ring, and the country club home to secure the money after moving to Okmulgee, Oklahoma was agreements.
More: Staley’s conviction came at a heavy cost
Dallas attorney John H. Bonnett III was appointed as trustee to act on behalf of the trust. The trust was based in a Dallas home where attorney Joe H. Staley Jr. lived before his death on September 11, 2021.
The story goes on
The property James Staley used as collateral includes a ring described as a Tiffany style solitaire setting in platinum with a European cut diamond weighing approximately 5.72 carats and all the furniture, artwork, machinery, equipment , gear and more in house at Irving Place.
James Irven Staley III
Staley on Wednesday requested a court clerk’s report on his trial free of charge so he could submit it for his appeal, saying he was too poor to pay for it.
However, Young later signed an order for Staley to provide the funds to pay the clerk to record his trial. The judge based his decision on the picture Staley provided of his finances and said the order could be changed.
Not long after Staley was found guilty Monday and sentenced to life in prison without parole, defense attorney Mark G. Daniel filed a notice that his client would be filing an appeal.
Defense attorneys apply for withdrawal
The judge granted Daniel and the other attorney who represented Staley in the murder trial, Terri Moore, a motion to withdraw on Wednesday, court filings show.
The attorneys’ filing said they were never formally hired to represent Staley on the child harm and evidence tampering charges against him.
A jury of 12 found Staley guilty of the capital murder of a person under the age of 10 Monday afternoon at the Tim Curry Criminal Justice Center in downtown Fort Worth. It took the jury about four hours to reach a verdict.
Young on Monday sentenced Staley to life in prison without parole, an automatic sentence. The verdict came after a grueling trial that included nine days of testimony in an eighth-floor courtroom during which prosecutors claimed Staley suffocated Wilder with a pillow.
More:Blog: WEEK ONE James Staley Trial Coverage
More:Blog: Follow live updates for the Staley study in WEEK TWO here
More:Blog: WEEK THREE live updates for the Staley study
Wilder’s mother, Amber McDaniel, testified that she discovered her child dead on the floor of a bedroom at Staley’s home on the morning of October 11, 2018.
On Monday, Staley was led out of the courtroom in handcuffs by deputies. He was still being held at the Tarrant County Jail as of Thursday morning.
Young has signed an order allowing Staley’s jail-to-jail transfer after Friday, court filings show.
Trish Choate, Enterprise Watchdog Reporter for the Times Record News, covers education, courts, breaking news and more. Contact her with message tips at [email protected] Her Twitter handle is @Trishapedia.
This article originally appeared in the Wichita Falls Times Record News: Too poor to hire an attorney, Staley gets a court-appointed appellate attorney