McDaniel attorneys request more time to file pre-trial motions

Telegraph staffApril 30, 2013 

Attorneys for Stephen McDaniel have requested that a judge grant them a 30-day extension on Tuesday’s deadline to complete pre-trial motions.

McDaniel, 27, is charged with murder in the June 2011 slaying and dismemberment of Lauren Giddings, his neighbor and Mercer law school classmate.

His case is set to go to trial Sept. 9 in Macon.

In their motion, filed late Monday in Bibb County Superior Court, attorneys Franklin J. Hogue and Floyd Buford say they have 15 motions in various stages of draft form. In recent months, one of the lawyers has been busy preparing for two other murder trials. The trial for one of the defendants, former probation officer Russell Holt, was pre-empted by Holt pleading guilty Monday.

Prosecutors don’t object to the extension, according to the motion.

Bibb District Attorney David Cooke said Tuesday he is still waiting for results of FBI lab tests on potential trace evidence and DNA gathered in the case. He said he expects an estimate soon on when he will get the results.

“They’re still testing some DNA,” Cooke said.

Giddings’ dismembered torso was discovered wrapped in plastic bags in a curbside garbage bin outside her Georgia Avenue apartment June 30, 2011. The rest of her remains have never been found.

Packaging for a hacksaw allegedly used to dismember Giddings was discovered in McDaniel’s apartment.

McDaniel has been jailed since his July 1, 2011, arrest on a burglary charge. Murder and sexual exploitation of children charges later were filed against him.

Although prosecutors at one point sought the death penalty in the case, they removed capital punishment as a possibility earlier this year.

To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398. To contact writer Joe Kovac Jr., call 744-4397.

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