McDaniel motions hearing scheduled for Monday

Telegraph staffApril 18, 2014 

A Monday hearing has been set to discuss motions filed in the Stephen McDaniel murder trial.

McDaniel, 28, is accused in the 2011 slaying and dismemberment of Lauren Giddings, his next-door neighbor and Mercer University law school classmate.

His trial is scheduled to begin April 28 in McDonough.

It is unclear what will be argued during Monday’s hearing.

The judge hasn’t yet heard arguments regarding the prosecutors’ motion requesting that jurors be allowed to view the Georgia Avenue apartment complex where Giddings’ torso was discovered in a trash can June 30, 2011. The rest of her remains have not been found.

Arguments also haven’t been heard for a defense motion requesting that potential jurors be questioned a dozen at a time.

Such a process is not at all unusual in criminal cases and is required if the defense requests it.

But McDaniel’s lawyers are asking that an extra step be taken to have the dozen-person panels questioned outside of earshot of the rest of the jury pool.

The thinking is that if jurors are questioned in a larger group, one person’s answer could taint the pool. Jurors also could become alienated if forced to sit through long hours of other jurors being questioned, according to the motion.

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

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