Bibb County Superior Court Judge S. Phillip Brown is making preparations for heart surgery, meaning he will be off the bench for several weeks.
Brown, the chief judge in the Macon Judicial Circuit, said retired judges Tommy Day Wilcox and Martha Christian will be helping handle his cases during his absence.
He was scheduled to preside over the Feb. 7 arraignment of Stephen McDaniel, the 26-year-old man accused in the slaying and dismemberment of 27-year-old Lauren Giddings. That hearing has now been postponed.
Giddings’ remains were discovered June 30 outside the Georgia Avenue apartment building where she and McDaniel were neighbors.
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Brown became chief judge of the circuit earlier this year following Christian’s 2011 retirement.
Appointed by then-Gov. Zell Miller in 1995, Brown filled a newly created judgeship that increased the number of judges in the circuit from four to five. Gov. Nathan Deal has not yet appointed a judge to fill the vacancy created by Christian’s retirement last year.
The Macon circuit includes Bibb, Crawford and Peach counties.
To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398.