CLAY COUNTY, Fla. — Prosecutors of Clay County’s former top cop are asking a judge to delay his criminal trial for lying and evidence tampering. The case was set to get underway Monday with jury selection, with opening arguments scheduled to begin Dec. 13.
A motion filed Monday seeks to continue the trial until at least February, an issue that will be discussed at Wednesday’s hearing. The 56-year-old former Clay County Sheriff is charged with three misdemeanor counts of lying to law enforcement and a felony evidence tampering charge related to his conduct when he was still in office.
The charges grew out of Daniels’ extramarital affair with a former subordinate of his, named Cierra Smith.
According to an investigation by the Florida’s Department of Law Enforcement, Daniels attempted to have his own officers arrest Smith and accused her of stalking him. Investigators say he later tried to delete evidence of the incident and the affair from his work-issued phone.
Daniels has pleaded not guilty to all charges. He lost his bid for reelection shortly after the FDLE investigative report was released.
Wednesday’s hearing is a scheduled Docket Sounding, which is used by judges to assess whether a case is ready for trial.