Digital images of pre-pubescent boys and girls engaging in sex acts with adults were discovered on a flash drive belonging to Stephen Mark McDaniel, the man accused in the late-June killing of his neighbor and Mercer University law school classmate Lauren Giddings, according to arrest warrants signed Tuesday.
McDaniel was charged with seven counts of sexual exploitation of children, according to Macon police.
The flash drive was attached to a black and orange Mercer University lanyard found in McDaniel’s apartment when authorities served a search warrant, according to the warrants.
Floyd Buford, McDaniel’s attorney, said he received a call informing him of the new charges about an hour before the warrants were served Tuesday afternoon.
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Buford said the new sex charges have “no relation whatsoever to the Giddings murder case.”
Giddings’ torso was found wrapped in plastic in a roll-away trash bin beside her apartment building at 1058 Georgia Ave. on the morning of June 30, hours after friends reported her missing. Giddings hadn’t been heard from since the night of June 25.
McDaniel, a 25-year-old from Lilburn and Giddings’ next-door neighbor in Macon for about three years, was jailed July 1 on burglary charges unrelated to Giddings’ death and dismemberment.
McDaniel and Giddings, a 27-year-old Maryland native who had plans to start her law career in metro Atlanta, were members of the 2011 graduating class at Mercer University’s Walter F. George School of Law, just across the street from their apartments. They and other members of their class were in town after graduation to study for the Georgia bar exam.
McDaniel’s Aug. 2 murder warrant alleges that authorities found a hacksaw with Giddings’ DNA on it in a locked room at the apartment complex. Packaging for the saw was recovered from McDaniel’s apartment, the warrant states, as were a master key to the complex and a key to Giddings’ residence.
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