Death Penalty Dropped In Mercer Slaying Case
Stephen Mark McDaniel, the man charged with the slaying and dismemberment of Mercer University law school graduate Lauren Giddings, is no longer facing the death penalty.
Bibb County District Attorney David Cooke held an 11:00 a.m. press conference on Thursday announcing his office formally filed an intent to withdraw the death notice in the case. Cooke says he met at length with Giddings' parents who asked his office to withdraw the death penalty to allow the case to proceed in a more timely fashion. The case is expected to be heard in Bibb County Superior Court sometime next year.
In December of 2011, Bibb County District Attorney Greg Winters filed a notice of intention to seek the death penalty against Stephen Mark McDaniel in Bibb County Superior Court.
McDaniel is the only suspect in the death of Giddings, he was her next door neighbor and classmate. Giddings' torso was found dismembered outside her Georgia Avenue apartment in late June of 2011.
McDaniel was indicted for the felony murder charge. He is also charged with two counts of burglary and thirty counts of sexual exploitation of children.
McDaniel is currently being held at the Bibb County Law Enforcement Center without bond.