CHARLOTTE, Tenn. - Joseph Daniels, the man police say admitted killing his 5-year-old son amid a multi-day search in Dickson County, arrived to a crowd of protesters for a court hearing on Friday.
At about 9:40 a.m., Daniels was led into the courthouse. He was wearing an orange jail jumpsuit, bulletproof vest and shackles.
A crowd met him there, chanting "Where is Baby Joe?"
A prompter with a small PA system goaded them to keep chanting.
"Remain peaceful but do not let your voices stop being heard!" the man told the crowd.
Inside, Daniels, charged with criminal homicide in the death of his son, Joe Clyde Daniels, was given a court-appointed attorney and waived a preliminary hearing.
When he left the court at 9:50 a.m., the chanting continued outside the courthouse.
His wife, Krystal Daniels, was expected to arrive soon.
The search for the body of Joe Clyde continued in Dickson County on Friday.
Court documents released Monday morning indicate that Joseph Ray Daniels told investigators he beat the boy to death, put Joe Clyde's body in the trunk of his car and disposed of the remains in a "remote area."
Daniels was being held on a $1 million bond in the Dickson County jail.
The father allegedly admitted that on or around April 4, he struck the 5-year-old repeatedly in the body, upper torso, head and face with a closed fist until his son was dead at their residence on Garners Creek Road in Dickson, the arrest report states.
A 911 call from Daniels that morning touched off a massive search for Joe Clyde, who was autistic and non-verbal. Daniels told a dispatcher his son must have unlocked the door and wandered off.
Daniels was booked under a suicide watch, the booking document states.