Bail, Crime, Death Penalty, Deaths, Law Schools, Murder, Violence

A Creepy New Claim About Stephen McDaniel in the Lauren Giddings Murder Case

Stephen McDaniel

It has been a while since our last significant update on the criminal case against Stephen M. McDaniel, the Mercer Law School graduate accused of killing classmate Lauren Giddings. But as noted in Morning Docket, we now have an update.

A rather lurid and gory update. Reader discretion is advised….

In Tuesday’s court appearance, McDaniel entered a plea of “not guilty.” Chief Judge S. Phillip Brown heard arguments on bail for McDaniel. District Attorney Greg Winters sought a $2.5 million bond, while the defense proposed $100,000 bond. Judge Brown took the matter under advisement and did not make a ruling.

Here’s the more notable part of yesterday’s hearing, as reported by the Macon Telegraph:

Tuesday in court, Winters read aloud a graphic and profane post in which McDaniel [allegedly] wrote about an encounter with an attractive acquaintance.

“Graduate from law school,” the prosecutor read, addressing the judge. “Party hard by drinking alone in front of my computer. See my sexy neighbor/classmate come home late. She has talked to me occasionally in the past. Has wanted [a certain piece of my anatomy] for three years. Invite her up for a nightcap, make her a special drink called a Mickey Finn.”

Winters explained that a Mickey Finn is a drink “laced with drugs to make you unconscious.”

Then he continued reading: “She’s out cold. I finally lose my V-card. Oh, no, she OD’d and died. I barbecue her legs and arms to celebrate losing my V-card. Not into organ meat, but throw her torso out, lose it on TV while the cops are discovering her remains, you mad virgins.”

When he finished, at the defense table, McDaniel’s eyes were shut.

Wow. That’s really something. McDaniel has developed a reputation for his internet postings, both chilling and hot-headed. But this latest posting crosses into new territory (assuming it was in fact written by McDaniel, as the prosecution alleges; they link the posting to McDaniel through the “Son of Liberty” online moniker).

The prosecution mentioned additional evidence at Tuesday’s proceedings:

• Police found a “balled up” pair of panties with Giddings’s DNA in McDaniel’s bedroom sock drawer. The Telegraph first reported that discovery in November.

• A master key to the apartment complex and a key to Giddings’s apartment were found in McDaniel’s bedroom.

• Police discovered a large, bloody sheet in a washing machine in the apartment complex’s laundry room. A hacksaw with human flesh was found in a locked storage closet in the laundry room. It looked to have been “cleaned but where it’s kind of screwed in at the base to keep the blade in place, it also (appeared) to have … blood on it,” Winters said. Blood on the saw matched Giddings’s DNA. The Telegraph first reported the saw’s discovery soon after his arrest on the murder charge.

• Packaging for the saw was found in McDaniel’s apartment.

This collection of evidence does not sound good. A commenter on one of our prior posts opined that McDaniel is starting to look like “the Casey Anthony of law school.”

But remember: Casey Anthony got off. And Stephen McDaniel is also presumed innocent until proven otherwise.

We’ll keep you posted. If you have information about this case, please feel free to reach out to us. Thanks.

UPDATE (4/9/2012): Could the chilling posting be a fake? That’s what some are suggesting — including McDaniel’s lawyers, who deny that their client wrote the post.

McDaniel bond undecided: DA says suspect wrote disturbing Internet post [Macon Telegraph]
Judge Considers Bond Request in McDaniel Case [WMAZ 13]

Earlier: Chilling Internet Postings Linked to Stephen McDaniel
The Collected Writings of Stephen McDaniel
Prior ATL coverage of Stephen McDaniel

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