Sources: Darryl Daniels has rejected plea offer from special prosecutor

Ex-Clay County sheriff could go to trial in December

Ex-Clay County sheriff could go to trial in December.

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. – Former Clay County Sheriff Darryl Daniels, who’s facing charges including tampering with evidence and giving false information to law enforcement, could go to trial in December.

Sources tell News4Jax that Daniels has rejected a plea offer from the special prosecutor assigned to the case, and that Cierra Smith -- a key witness and Daniels’ former mistress -- had a deposition hearing Friday.

A request for comment from Daniels’ attorney in regard to the plea deal was not returned by publication of this article.

Daniels was arrested in August 2020 when an investigation began into an affair with Smith, a corrections who he worked with during his time at the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

With a JSO internal investigation about to be released, Smith and Daniels admitted to the affair that led to Smith briefly being arrested at Daniels’ direction in May of 2019 on stalking allegations, when he was Clay County sheriff.

News4Jax obtained a copy of the deposition in the case at First Coast Court Reports in Jacksonville at 10:30 a.m. Friday. Notably, the witness’ name was redacted. News4Jax was there as Smith walked into the office.

Though the charges were filed in Clay County, this case is being handled by the Fifth Circuit State Attorney’s Office. State Attorney Melissa Nelson recused her office because of a conflict of interest.

The possible trial date is Dec. 13.

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