Darryl Daniels trial: Court listens to Daniels’ interview with FDLE investigator

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. — Testimony continued Wednesday in the trial of former Clay County Sheriff Darryl Daniels. Daniels is charged with two felonies including tampering with evidence and attempted tampering with evidence.

He’s also charged with five counts of giving false information to a law enforcement officer, all misdemeanors. The charges stem from an investigation into Daniels’ relationship with Cierra Smith, a former JSO corrections officer.


Here are the live updates from Action News Jax’s Jake Stofan as they happened in court:

4:57 p.m.: Defense contends Daniels deleted Gmail account prior to any knowledge of an investigation. Records show the account was terminated around 10:40 p.m. on May 6, 2019.

4:51 p.m.: Those searches occurred 15 months prior to the May 6th, 2019 arrest of Smith defense attorney notes.

4:50 p.m.: Riddick notes it was not a crime at the time Daniels’ allegedly accessed database to look up Smith’s husband.

4:45 p.m.: Defense notes Daniels Googled “how to retrieve messages” a day prior to May 6, 2019 incident with Smith. Defense argues the search could not have been related to the FDLE investigation, which had not been conceived yet.

4:43 p.m.: Defense says because Daniels searched “aggravated stalking” after Smith had already been arrested, it suggests he was looking up what the charge was, not search for something to recommend she be charged with. Riddick agrees.

4:34 p.m.: Riddick acknowledges extraction service could not identify date of text and phone log deletion on Daniels’ agency phone.

4:22 p.m.: 13 total phone contacts between Daniels and Smith between April 28 and May 6, according to defense attorney.

4:20 p.m.: Riddick says he found no evidence the May 6 incident was a prearranged meeting between Daniels and Smith.

4:19 p.m.: Riddick says FDLE has no evidence Daniels and Smith met in person between April 28 and May 6.

4:18 p.m.: “How is the media reporting this on May 14?” defense askes Riddick, noting the Riddick wasn’t assigned to the case until May 20. (referencing the date of the article found on Daniels’ agency phone)

4:16 p.m.: Defense highlights the initial intent of the FDLE investigation was to investigate ‘official misconduct’.

4:13 p.m.: Defense questions whether the scope of the FDLE investigation was limited to stalking.

4:10 p.m.: Cross examination of Riddick begins.

4:09 p.m.: Riddick says Daniels testimony to FDLE about not having Snapchat, CashApp or Kick Messenger on his agency phone was contradicted by physical evidence extracted from his phone.

3:49 p.m.: Cell data shows Daniels had a screen grab of an article indicating FDLE was investigating Daniels. The article was dated May 14, 2019.

3:42 p.m.: The deletion occurred eight minutes after the search for “delete gmail account” on Daniels’ phone documents show.

3:41 p.m.: Court documents show Daniels’ Gmail account was deleted that same evening.

3:39 p.m.: Cell records show Daniels searched “delete Gmail account” on the evening Cierra Smith was arrested cell records show.

3:38 p.m.: Daniels searched how to “retrieve deleted messages” according to cell records.

3:37 p.m.: Daniels searched “aggravated stalking” while on scene or a little after leaving the scene on May 6, 2019 cell records show.

3:36 p.m.: Daniels paid Smith “a little over $37,000″ via CashApp according to Riddick.

3:34 p.m.: Riddick states cell extraction data showed CashApp had been on Daniels’ agency phone, but had been deleted.

3:33 p.m.: All 112 calls on the call log and 78 of 468 text messages on Daniels’ agency phone were deleted according to Riddick.

3:29 p.m.: “We couldn’t get the deleted data or anything,” Riddick says of initial attempt to extract data from Daniels’ agency phone.

3:28 p.m.: Riddick says FDLE obtained search warrant to extract data from Daniels’ agency cell phone.

3:01 p.m.: Daniels apologizes to the profession and Clay County in closing of FDLE interview.

2:43 p.m.: Daniels claims his wife thought she saw Smith in their neighborhood after the May 6, 2019 incident in recording of FDLE interview.

2:42 p.m.: Daniels tells investigators he and his wife believed a vehicle had been parked outside their home on multiple occasions in recording of FDLE interview.

2:41 p.m.: Daniels recounts time when Smith allegedly showed up at his home unannounced in the middle of the town, upset a warrant for her arrest had been issued in North Carolina in recording of FDLE interview.

2:33 p.m.: Daniels told investigators he didn’t think Ruby had probable cause to arrest Smith for stalking on May 6, 2019. Says the trespassing on school property charge “would be a bit of a stretch.”

2:32 p.m.: Daniels told investigators he didn’t have any recollection of telling Sergeant Ruby what to do with Smith at the May 6, 2019 scene.

2:25 p.m.: Daniels tells investigators in recording he didn’t call Smith during the May 6 incident because “it would have been on my sheriff’s office phone” and he wasn’t going to call her on that.

2:23 p.m.: Daniels says to FDLE investigators in interview recording he called his wife during the May 6 encounter because it occurred near his home and she “needed to see” what he was dealing with.

2:16 p.m.: Daniels says last text conversation with Smith the day he told his wife about the affair. Earlier in the day, cellphone data showed texts sent between the two after April 28, 2019 -- the day Daniels’ defense claims he broke news of his affair to his wife.

2:14 p.m.: Daniels tells investigators he did ask about the JSO investigation after his meeting with Smith on April 28, 2019 in recording of FDLE interview.

2:12 p.m.: “This is a frustrating cycle of volatility,” Daniels tells investigators about relationship with Smith in recording of FDLE interview.

2:10 p.m.: “There’s not retirement plan in this. There is no happy ending,” Daniels tells investigators he told Smith in recording of FDLE interview. “It wasn’t the first time we had that conversation.”

2:07 p.m.: Daniels told investigators he was doxed and that’s why he had TruthFinders app on his phone in recording of FDLE interview.

1:54 p.m.: “I didn’t really pull any strings to make that happen,” Daniels says of Smith getting her job back at JSO after returning from North Carolina according to recording of FDLE interview.

1:52 p.m.: Daniels denies setting up a May 6, 2019 meeting during meeting with Smith on April 28, 2019 in FDLE interview recording.

1:49 p.m.: “The motivation for me was to minimize any exposure of this to my wife,” says Daniels in recording of FDLE interview.

1:48 p.m.: Smith testified yesterday Daniels would occasionally call her from his agency phone to tell her if his personal phone was dead.

1:47 p.m.: “I’ve never made a phone call to her from a sheriff’s office cell phone,” Daniels says in reference to Smith in recording of FDLE interview.

1:45 p.m.: “I’m always on duty,” Daniels says when asked if he ever had sex with Smith while on duty in recording of FDLE interview.

1:40 p.m.: Daniels claims all money he sent to Smith came from his personal bank account, not the agency coffers in recording of FDLE interview.

1:39 p.m.: Daniels advises other couples to not allow one partner in a marriage told have sole control over the couple’s finances without oversight in recording of FDLE interview.

1:34 p.m.: Daniels told investigators he didn’t talk to Sergeant Ruby about trying to get an injunction against Smith in recording of interview. In testimony Tuesday, Ruby said Daniels did mention trying to get one at the scene on the May 6, 2019 incident.

1:30 p.m.: Daniels indicated Smith had texted him about being Baker Acted. Daniels also indicates in the recording he was confused to see Smith on May 6, 2019. “I was thinking the worst,” Daniels told investigators about seeing Smith on May 6, 2019.

1:29 p.m.: “Why did you think you had to kill her or she was gonna kill you?” Investigators ask Daniels in recording of interview.

1:26 p.m.: Recording shows Daniels told investigators Sergeant Rudy didn’t solicit his input on what to do with Smith on May 6, 2019. Rudy testified on Tuesday Daniels had said he wanted her arrested, but he didn’t take it as an order.

1:18 p.m.: Daniels was informed the investigation was of a criminal nature and that he was free to leave the interview at any time.

1:17 p.m.: Recording indicates Daniels agreed to go under oath during interview.

1:16 p.m.: Court is back in session. Riddick is back on the stand and the jury is now listening to a recording from Riddick’s interview with Daniels.

11:37 a.m.: Court breaks for lunch; will resume at 1:10 p.m.

11:36 a.m.: Riddick begins testimony on interview with Daniels, states Daniels was placed under oath prior to the interview.

11:31 a.m.: Text message sent to Smith from Daniels phone laden with profanities on May 3, 2019 cell phone records show. Riddick indicates the message was sent by Daniels’ wife.

11:29 a.m.: Cellphone records show Daniels left a voicemail for Smith on May 1, 2019.

TUESDAY IN COURT: Former Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams testifies

11:27 a.m.: Daniels texts back indicating he’ll call Smith back soon cellphone records show. Smith tells Daniels she’s on her way ‘to internal’ on April 30, 2019 cellphone records show.

11:26 a.m.: On April 30, 2019, Smith texts Daniels upset over him ignoring calls. Notes Daniels had called asking for her husband’s number cell phone records show.

11:25 a.m.: Daniels called Smith on April 29, 2019 cellphone records show.

11:24 a.m.: Smith continued texting Daniels the following day, April 29, 2019. Daniels responded “It’s not good” cellphone records show.

11:23 a.m.: Daniels replied “she stormed out... I’ll have to talk to you tomorrow” cellphone records show. Riddick says there were no messages indicating Daniels had ended the relationship with Cierra Smith.

11:22 a.m.: Smith told Daniels “nooooooo wait” in response to Daniels’ message cell phone records show.

11:21 a.m.: Daniels indicates he was about to tell his wife about the affair at 8 PM on April 28, 2019 cell phone records show.

11:19 a.m.: Daniels told Smith to request information related to the JSO internal investigation according to cell phone records.

11:18 a.m.: Around 5:55 PM Smith texted Daniels saying she’d been crying since he left according to cellphone records. “I’m throwing up everywhere,” Smith texted Daniels according to cell phone records.

11:17 a.m.: “I want to hug you and kiss your bottom lip,” Daniels texted on April 28, 2019 cellphone records show.

11:16 a.m.: “Good morning moch,” Daniels texted Smith on April 28, 2019 according to cellphone records. Later indicates he needs to talk to her.

11:15 a.m.: “Remember I said I will help you,” cellphone records show Daniels texted Smith on April 27, 2019.

11:13 a.m.: Daniels texted Smith his Google email address on April 26, 2019 cell phone records show.

11:12 a.m.: “May not be anything to save,” Daniels texted Smith about telling his wife of their affair cell phone records show.

11:11 a.m.: Cell phone data extraction shows Daniels texted Smith he wanted to break the news to “stop it from going viral.”

11:09 a.m.: Numerous CashApp transactions between Daniels and Smith, along with sexually explicit content exchanged between the two according to Riddick.

11:08 a.m.: First contact between Smith and Daniels made on December 19, 2017, a voicemail left by Daniels on Smith’s phone. Extraction data shows Daniels contacted Smith in February of 2019 informing her of his new phone number.

11:06 a.m.: Cell data extraction shows Cierra Smith had Cashapp and Snapchat installed on her phone.

11:04 a.m.: Correction, those communications went as far back as 2017.

11 a.m.: 965 communications between Smith and Daniels between January and May of 2019 according to Riddick. Over 1,000 communication between the two after Daniels got a new phone according to Riddick. No communications between the two on the day of Smith’s arrest according to Riddick.

10:55 a.m.: Record removed from screen.

10:54 a.m.: Cell phone record put on courtroom screen appears to have a lot of Daniels’ personal data unredacted. Including full social security number ... Defense, state and judge discussing objection currently.

10:51 a.m.: Riddick says he was looking for information to corroborate Smith’s claim the May 6, 2019 meeting with Daniels was planned.

10:49 a.m.: Riddick obtained detailed records from cell phone providers.

10:48 a.m.: Smith consented to the extraction.

10:47 a.m.: Riddick says after talking with Cierra Smith he obtained her cell phone for data extraction.

10:46 a.m.: Riddick was given the Daniels case on May 20, 2019.

10:41 a.m.: Keith Riddick next on the stand. Riddick is an inspector (or investigator) for FDLE.

10:38 a.m.: McKinney says he ordered Antoniello to lock up Daniels’ old agency phone.

10:36 a.m.: McKinney said he was aware of FDLE investigation when the request for a new agency phone was brought to his attention.

10:35 a.m.: McKinney says Antoniello made him aware of Daniels requesting a new agency phone.

10:34 a.m.: At the time of the May 6, 2019 McKinney was head of the agency’s information department.

10:32 a.m.: Wayne McKinney next to take the stand. McKinney is director of investigations and special operations for CCSO.

10:26 a.m.: “My understanding was that it had concluded,” Davenport says of Daniels relationship with Cierra Smith.

10:23 a.m.: “The Sheriff never told me he was in fear,” says Davenport. Davenport says he doesn’t recall if Daniels mentioned previously seeking a restraining order against Smith.

10:22 a.m.: Davenport said he debriefed Daniels, advising his about Marsy’s Law and high level advise on how to seek a restraining order.

10:21 a.m.: Davenport says Daniels told him Smith had been following him. Davenport says he advised the Sheriff to recuse himself from the case and that he would do the same. Also advised the Undersheriff act as the lead official on the case.

10:20 a.m.: Davenport says Daniels asked him about his affair and whether the agency should get out in front of it.

10:19 a.m.: Jeffery Davenport takes the stand before the jury after some procedural back and fourth on attorney client privilege between the prosecution and defense.

10:07 a.m.: Davenport says he waived attorney client privilege with Daniels and Daniels took no issue with that decision.

10:04 a.m.: Jeff Davenport, General Counsel for CCSO is on the stand.

9:46 a.m.: Antoniello says he assumed there was some type of communication between Daniels and Cierra Smith that was embarrassing that spurred his request for his old agency phone to be wiped.

9:45 a.m.: Antoniello says Daniels’ told him something along the lines of ‘get rid’ of the phone.

9:41 a.m.: Antoniello says Daniels was not trying to hide his calendar.

RELATED: Jury seated in trial of former Clay County Sheriff Darryl Daniels

9:40 a.m.: Antoniello says he was unable to immediately access Daniels’ calendar. Antoniello says Daniels helped him access the portion of his calendar requested by FDLE.

9:39 a.m.: Antoniello says that’s fairly standard protocol for incidents involving officers in their off-duty capacity.

9:38 a.m.: Antoniello says Daniels was blocked from viewing the reports on the incident between himself and Smith on May 6th, 2019.

RELATED: Jury selection begins in trial of former Clay County Sheriff Darryl Daniels

9:35 a.m.: Antoniello says nothing other than text messages, email, contacts, calendar items are backed up on agency server.

9:27 a.m.: Antoniello says he didn’t wipe the agency phone and put it in the safe due to the ongoing FDLE investigation.

9:26 a.m.: Antoniello says Daniels’ old agency phone did not have an SD card when it was returned.

RELATED: Former Clay County Sheriff Darryl Daniels appears in court, trial date set

9:25 a.m.: Antoniello says he looked at the contents of Daniels’ phone once upon a request from FDLE for Daniels’ calendar.

9:24 a.m.: Antoniello says after a conversation with his boss he placed the phone in a safe.

9:23 a.m.: Antoniello says he put Daniels’ old phone in his desk drawer.

2021: New documents, recordings released in investigation into former Clay sheriff Darryl Daniels

9:22 a.m.: Antoniello says he told Daniels he’d hold on to the phone for a few days or weeks before doing the factory reset.

9:21 a.m.: Antoniello says he did not transfer data from Daniels’ old agency phone to the new one, stating Daniels told him he’d already gotten what he needed off of it.

9:19 a.m.: Antoniello says Daniels agreed to swap his Android for an iPhone. Antoniello says Daniels told him, “This phone has stuff that doesn’t need to see the light.”

2020: FDLE says Daniels lied to investigators

9:18 a.m.: Antoniello recalls the call came from Daniels’ agency phone. Daniels indicated he wanted a new agency phone.

9:17 a.m.: Antoniello says he received a phone call from Daniels about a month after the May 6, 2019 incident.

9:15 a.m.: Antoniello says it’s standard procedure to factory reset agency phones if staff requests a new one. Files potentially subject to public record like agency emails are backed up and stored.

2020: Darryl Daniels: Former Clay County sheriff officially charged with evidence tampering, false reports to law enforcement

9:08 a.m.: Android phone issued to Daniels had different apps for work and personal purposes (emails and photos, etc) according to Antoniello.

9:05 a.m.: Antoniello says staff members could download whatever apps they wanted on agency phones and make personal calls and texts on agency phones.

9:01 a.m.: Next up, Dominic Antoniello. Antoniello is the Chief Information Officer for CCSO. Antoniello was in charge of the agency’s cell phone program.

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8:59 a.m.: Herrera says she only had access to Clay County records. Defense asks whether she knows what Duval County records would show. Herrera replies ‘no’.

8:57 a.m.: Herrera testifies there’s no evidence Daniels attempted to obtain a restraining order against Cierra Smith.

8:54 a.m.: Change of plans. Amy Herrera is next up. Herrera works at the Clay County Clerks Office. This is where a person would go to obtain a restraining order.

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8:50 a.m.: Jeffrey Davenport will be next to take the stand.

8:46 a.m.: Alexander says it was relayed to him Daniels said “Do what you have to do” to Sergeant Ruby regarding the arrest of Cierra Smith.

8:45 a.m.: Chief Baylor Alexander is the first witness on the stand today.

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