The trial for a Gwinnett County man accused of a grisly 2011 murder of a law-school classmate in Macon has been moved to metro Atlanta.
A Macon judge agreed to move Stephen McDaniel’s trial from Bibb County to Henry County because of “incessant” media coverage, the Macon Telegraph reported. The trial is scheduled to begin April 28 at the Henry County Courthouse in McDonough.
McDaniel, 28, a Lilburn native who graduated from Parkview High School, is accused of killing and dismembering Lauren Giddings, a Mercer University law school graduate, in June, 2011. Giddings’ torso was discovered wrapped in plastic in a trash bin outside the Georgia Avenue apartment complex where she and McDaniel were next-door neighbors. The two also were Mercer law-school classmates.
The AJC reported Giddings graduated from Agnes Scott College in Decatur and worked in Atlanta for a year before entering law school.
McDaniel’s attorneys requested a change in venue in January due to extensive pre-trial publicity the case has drawn.
Bibb County Judge Howard Simms, who called media coverage “incessant,” agreed. The court order filed Wednesday for the venue change also considered the impact that McDaniel's separate child sex exploitation charges would have on the jury in the murder trial. McDaniel faces the additional charges stemming from child pornography found on a flash drive during the police search of his apartment.
McDaniel has been in jail since July 1, 2011.
See more on this story:
- Updated: Lilburn Native Charged in Macon Murder
- Murder Charge Draws Local Reaction
- Trial Set for Lilburn Man in Death of Mercer Law Student
- New Charges for Lilburn Man Accused in Macon Murder
- Legal Wrangling Continues in Case of Stephen McDaniel
- Report: McDaniel Gets Conditional Bond in Giddings Murder…
- Murder Suspect McDaniel to Contest Grand Jury Makeup