Killer in Giddings case moved to prison in Valdosta

Convicted dismemberment killer Stephen Mark McDaniel, who in spring 2014 pleaded guilty to the 2011 murder of his Mercer University law school classmate, Lauren Giddings, is now being held at a state prison in Valdosta.

McDaniel, who turned 30 in September, had until recently been housed at the prison in Butts County near Jackson, the state’s diagnostic and classification center for new inmates. Most of them are moved along to other prisons fairly quickly, but McDaniel had been there since his April 21, 2014, conviction.

“My understanding was they moved him on Dec. 30,” said attorney Floyd Buford, one of the lawyers who represented McDaniel in the high-profile case that attracted national news coverage. “But it’s not unexpected.”

McDaniel, originally from Lilburn in Gwinnett County, is serving a life sentence.

Buford said McDaniel’s parents, Mark and Glenda McDaniel, had gone to visit their son the other day only to learn he had been transferred to south Georgia.

Giddings, a 27-year-old Maryland native, was slain in late June 2011. Her body was dismembered and her torso was left in a curbside garbage can outside her Georgia Avenue apartment in downtown Macon.

Authorities found her torso after friends reported her missing. Her arms, legs and head have never been found.

She and McDaniel were next-door neighbors who lived in apartments across the street from Mercer’s law school at Coleman Hill.

To contact writer Joe Kovac Jr., call 744-4397.