Last week, we wrote about the bail hearing for Stephen M. McDaniel, the Mercer Law School graduate accused of killing his former neighbor and classmate, Lauren Giddings. At the hearing, the prosecution cited a gory internet posting that it claimed was written by McDaniel. But it now appears that the post might have been a fake. When contacted by Above the Law, one of McDaniel’s lawyers, Franklin Hogue, denied that his client wrote the posting in question.
At the bail hearing, the prosecution asked for bond to be set at $2.5 million, while defense counsel sought $100,000 bond. Chief Judge S. Phillip Brown took the matter under advisement.
Yesterday he issued his ruling….
Judge Brown set bond at $850,000. He also imposed a variety of conditions, as noted in the Macon Telegraph:
[The order] requires McDaniel to wear an ankle monitor at his own expense and for him to stay at his parents’ home in Lilburn unless he’s traveling to meet with his lawyers or attend court.
(Elie quipped to me over Gchat: “I’m not sure an ankle monitor is the best way to keep track of Hacksaw McDaniel.”)
McDaniel also is not allowed to be alone with children “under any circumstances.” If children are at his parents’ home, at least one adult must be at the house in addition to McDaniel, according to the order.
McDaniel’s parents have custody of four of his sister’s children whom they have adopted. The children are under the age of 11.
Brown also prohibited McDaniel from having access to electronic communication devices such as cell phones and computers, but he’s allowed to use the devices to communicate with his lawyers and parents, according to the order.
He also can’t have access to weapons.
As it turns out, these questions about conditions are somewhat academic. It’s not likely that McDaniel will be out of the pokey anytime soon.
First, $850,000 is vastly higher than the $100,000 that the McDaniel family can afford, according to defense counsel. As one of McDaniel’s attorneys, Floyd Buford, told the Telegraph, “I don’t believe he’s going to be able to post that type of bond.”
Second, this isn’t the only criminal case in which McDaniel stands charged:
[B]ond also must be set in two other cases against him. McDaniel is charged with 30 counts of sexual exploitation of children as well as two counts of burglary. McDaniel is not automatically entitled to bond on the sex charges because he was indicted within 90 days of his arrest, said District Attorney Greg Winters.
We discussed the child pornography charges against McDaniel back in this post.
We’ll continue to follow this story. If you have information to share, please feel free to reach out.
Attorney says McDaniel won’t be able to pay $850,000 murder bond [Macon Telegraph]
State of Georgia v. McDaniel: Order on Defendant’s Motion for Bond [Bibb County Superior Court]