Wednesday, August 3, Eyewitness News at 11

6:15 PM, Aug 1, 2011   |    comments
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GOOD EVENING AND THANKS FOR JOINING US..
I'M FRANK MALLOY..
THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT 11.

THIS AFTERNOON STEPHEN MCDANIEL APPEARED IN COURT FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE HE WAS CHARGED WITH THE MURDER OF MERCER LAW GRADUATE LAUREN GIDDINGS.
AT THE HEARING - A JUDGE DENIED BOND FOR MCDANIEL... WHO APPEARED EXPRESSIONLESS DURING MOST OF THE HEARING.
MCDANIEL... GIDDINGS' FORMER NEIGHBOR... WAS ALREADY IN JAIL ON TWO BURGLARY CHARGES FILED LESS THAN A DAY AFTER GIDDINGS' TORSO WAS FOUND OUTSIDE HER MACON APARTMENT ON JUNE 30..

BONI BUSH... OWNER OF THE BARRISTERS HALL APARTMENT COMPLEX WHERE LAUREN GIDDINGS AND STEPHEN MCDANIEL LIVED... SAYS SHE'S BEEN TRYING TO GET ALL OF THE APARTMENTS INVOLVED IN THE INVESTIGATION CLEANED UP AND READY FOR NEW TENANTS.
ALL THAT IS... EXCEPT LAUREN GIDDING'S APARMENT.
BUSH SAYS SHE WILL LIVE IN THAT APARTMENT FOR THE YEAR.
ELEANOR LISSITZYN SPOKE WITH BUSH OUTSIDE THE APARTMENT THIS EVENING... ELEANOR?
FRANK... BONI BUSH SAYS CLEANING UP AFTER THE POLICE INVESTIGATION HAS BEEN EMOTIONAL FOR HER.
I GOT A CHANCE TO TOUR GIDDINGS' APARTMENT THIS EVENING.
SIGNS OF THE MONTH-LONG INVESTIGATION WERE EVERYWHERE INSIDE THE SEVEN HUNDRED SQUARE FOOT SPACE.
POLICE CUT HOLES IN WALLS... AND THERE WAS FINGERPRINT DUST ALL OVER THE DOORS.
ONE UNSUAL THING I DID NOTICE WAS IN THE BATHROOM.
POLICE HAVE NEVER SAID WHERE THEY BELIEVE LAUREN GIDDINGS WAS KILLED... BUT THEY DID CONFIRM SENDING DRAINS AND PIPES TO THE FBI FOR ANALYSIS.
GIDDING'S BATHROOM HAS A CERAMIC TUB AND AROUND ONE EDGE OF THE TUB I NOTICED ABOUT A FOOT-LONG SERIES OF SCRATCH MARKS.
THEY WERE THE KIND OF MARKS YOU'D EXPECT TO SEE ON A KITCHEN CUTTING BOARD.
WE DON'T KNOW IF THEY'RE RELEVENT TO INVESTIGATION BUT TO ME... THEY SEEMED OUT OF PLACE.
BUSH ALSO TALKED TO ME ABOUT LAUREN'S RELATIONSHIP WITH MCDANIEL.
SHE SAYS THE TWO WEREN'T FRIENDS... BUT CALLED LAUREN A 'REALLY NICE GIRL' WHO WAS KIND TO MCDANIEL.
BUSH SAYS MCDANIEL WAS KNOWN FOR BEING AN UNUSUAL GUY... BUT NEVER DANGEROUS.
BUSH SAYS WHEN LAUREN MOVED IN THREE YEARS AGO... SHE HAD ASKED HER IF SHE WAS COMFORTABLE LIVING NEXT TO HER NEW NEIGHBOR... TO WHICH LAUREN REPLIED HE WAS 'NICE BUT WEIRD.'

THE MURDER CHARGE IN THE GIDDINGS CASE COMES AFTER WEEKS OF SEARCHING FOR THE MISSING WOMAN'S REMAINS AND COLLECTING EVIDENCE TO TRY AND DETERMINE WHO KILLED HER.
POLICE HAVE SAID LITTLE ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED TO HER SINCE THEY FOUND PART OF HER BODY IN A GARBAGE CAN OUTSIDE HER GEORGIA AVENUE APARTMENT.
AT A NEWS CONFERENCE TODAY... POLICE DIDN'T OFFER ANY MORE DETAILS ABOUT WHAT THEY THINK HAPPENED TO HER.
BUT POLICE CHIEF MIKE BURNS SAYS THE EVIDENCE THEY COLLECTED IN THE CASE POINTED TO STEPHEN MCDANIEL.
All the evidence that we have, that we received back, ending up linking to one person... to preserve the integrity of the case I'm not going to talk about any evidence we might have recieved back any results of the evidence. I hoep this arrest will bring comfort to the family and our community..but everyone must remember every citizen is considered innocent until proven guilty."
POLICE SERVED A FELONY MURDER CHARGE ON MDCANIEL LAST NIGHT... WHICH MEANS HE IS ACCUSED OF TAKING A LIFE... DURING THE COMMISSION OF A FELONY.
DISTRICT ATTORNEY GREG WINTERS WOULD NOT SAY WHAT FELONY HE IS ACCUSED OF.
HE ALSO DID NOT RULE OUT THE POSSIBLITY OF ADDING MORE CHARGES.
Greg Winters, Bibb County District Attorney: "Obviously that decision.. like I said we don't know what all we have yet. We're still waiting on things to get back so the intial charge was for the murder and so if there are additional charges that will me made once we have all the evidence."
INVESTIGATORS ARE STILL WAITING FOR RESULTS FROM THE FBI ON SOME OF THE EVIDENCE THEY SENT THEM LAST MONTH.

MCDANIEL'S ATTORNEY... FLOYD BUFORD... SAYS HE IS DISAPPOINTED BY THE CHARGES AGAINST HIS CLIENT.
A SIGN TAPED TO THE DOOR AT MCDANIEL'S PARENTS' HOME IN LILBURN READS... "NO INTERVIEWS."
BUFORD SAYS HE SPOKE WITH MCDANIEL AND HIS FAMILY TODAY... AND SAYS THE MURDER CHARGE HAS BEEN HARD ON ALL OF THEM.
BUFORD SAYS MCDANIEL INSISTS HE IS INNOCENT.
A PLEA HEARING IS SET FOR AUGUST 17TH.... AND BUFORD SAYS HIS CLIENT PLANS TO ENTER A "NOT GUILTY" PLEA.

LAUREN GIDDINGS' YOUNGER SISTER KAITLYN WHEELER SPOKE WITH US BY PHONE TODAY.
SHE SAYS WHILE THE NEWS THAT MCDANIEL HAD BEEN CHARGED WITH LAUREN'S MURDER OFFERS SOME RELIEF... THEY STILL HAVE QUESTIONS.
WHEELER ALSO OFFERED SYMPATHY FOR EVERYONE INVOLVED.
Kaitlyn Wheeler, Laurel Maryland: "I mean it's very upfront and present that there's not just one family involved in this, there's two. I mean obviously whatever is coming to Stephen is something he deserves, and what happened to us we did not. But that doesn't mean his family deserved it, I am praying for them. I don't know, I just know it's the right thing to do, it's just what you do. You have compassion for them."

A GRUESOME ASPECT SURROUNDING THIS CASE IS WHY THE KILLER WOULD DISEMEMBER LAUREN GIDDINGS BODY..
WE POSED THAT QUESTION TO CRIMINOLOGIST DR. JACK LEVIN..
..IT'S RATHER RATIONAL WHEN YOU STOP TO THINK ABOUT IT. ONE OF THE MOST OBVIOUS PUPROSES IS TO MAKE SURE THAT THE BODY IS FOUND, MAYBE IT'S A CONVENIENT WAY OF CARRYING IT DOWN STAIRS, GETTING IT INTO A CAR BUT I THINK THERE IS ANOTHER POSSIBLE EXPLANATION AND THAT IS IT COULD HAVE BEEN A SEXUAL ASSAULT AND THE DNA EVIDENCE MAYBE IS IN THE LOWER PART OF THE TORSO AND THAT'S WHY THE KILLER TOOK GREAT PAINS TO MAKE SURE THAT THE POLICE DIDN'T FIND THAT PART AND DIDN'T CARE MUCH ABOUT THE UPPER TORSO..
DR. LEVIN HAS TAUGHT AT NORTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY IN BOSTON FOR OVER FOUR DECADES..
YOU CAN HEAR MORE OF HIS INTERVIEW AND AN INTERVIEW WE DID WITH A FORENSIC ANTHROPOLOGIST BY GOING TO OUR WEBSITE AT 13WMAZ DOT COM..

WHILE INVESTIGATORS CONTINUE LOOKING FOR CLUES... THE GIDDINGS FAMILY KEEPS SEARCHING FOR LAUREN GIDDINGS REMAINS.
THEY'VE RECEIVED HELP FROM A SEARCH AND RESCUE EXPERT... WHOSE RESUME INCLUDES HIGH PROFILE CASES LIKE THE NATALIE HOLLOWAY INVESTIGATION.
LAURENS COUSIN DARRELL MANN... SAYS THE FAMILY ASKED K-9 INVESTIGATOR FRED GOLBA... TO HELP THEM RECOVER THE REST OF HER BODY.
GOLBA AND HIS DOG RHINO... SEARCHED AROUND LAURENS APARTMENT... AND AT THE OCMULGEE RIVER..
HE BELIEVES THE BODY PARTS WERE PUT IN THIS TRASH BIN AT MERCER LAW SCHOOL....
AND GOLBA SAYS COMMERCIAL TRASH FROM HERE.... IS TAKEN TO THE WOLF CREEK LANDFILL IN TWIGGS COUNTY....
DarRell, "Through the process of elimination we found out the city landfill was pretty thoroughly investigated but we also found out that there is another landfill that was looked at but not as closely."
POLICE CHIEF MIKE BURNS SAYS THEY'VE SEARCHED THE WOLF CREEK LANDFILL.. AND HAVE NO PLANS TO GO BACK.
LANDFILL GENERAL MANAGER VIRGINIA VILLATORO SAID GOLBA AND MANN HAVE NOT CONTACTED HER... BUT SHE HEARD THEY WERE GOING TO.

TWO PEOPLE DIED AFTER A FIVE-VEHICLE CRASH... INVOLVING AN 18 WHEELER... SNARLED TRAFFIC ON I-16 FOR HOURS....
THE GEORGIA STATE PATROL SAYS WILLIE CONEWAY THE THIRD AND 81 YEAR OLD LEROY POHL JUNIOR DIED IN THE ACCIDENT IN LAURENS COUNTY.
THE CRASH HAPPENED AROUND 6:30 THIS MORNING...
ALL LANES IN BOTH DIRECTIONS OF I-16 WERE CLOSED FOR AROUND FIVE HOURS WHILE EMERGENCY CREWS CLEANED UP THE SCENE..
A THIRD PERSON WAS TAKEN TO THE HOSPITAL, ACCORDING TO STATE TROOPER ROBERT SAWYER..

A MOTHER AND DAUGHTER IN BYRON WERE TAKEN TO THE HOSPITAL AFTER AN ACCIDENT AT A SCHOOL..
GEORGIA STATE PATROL SPOKESPERSON MARK HOLLOWAY IN PERRY SAYS GLORIA HERNANDEZ AND HER DAUGHTER... 5-YEAR-OLD JACQUELINE HERNANDEZ ...WERE GETTING OUT OF THE CAR AT KAY ROAD ELEMENTARY SCHOOL.
HOLLOWAY SAYS GLORIA'S SON- IN-LAW ...JOSE REMIREZ ... ACCIDENTALLY BACKED THE FAMILY'S CAR INTO THE TWO...
G-S-P CONTINUES TO INVESTIGATE THE CASE.
BOTH MOTHER AND DAUGHTER WERE TAKEN TO THE MEDICAL CENTER OF CENTRAL GEORGIA FOR TREATMENT.

del ward talks with nora mcfarland, macon author, about her childhood, life and career for August's personal profile.

TONIGHT'S FACEBOOK FAN OF THE DAY... KAREN FORD!
KAREN... EMAIL FAN-OF-THE-DAY AT 13WMAZ DOT COM TO CLAIM YOUR VERY OWN 13WMAZ COFFEE MUG.
IF YOU'D LIKE A MAGNIFICENT MUG OF YOUR VERY OWN... YOU HAVE A CHANCE TO WIN ONE.
BUT FIRST.... YOU'LL NEED TO VISIT FACEBOOK DOT COM SLASH 13WMAZ... LIKE THE PAGE... AND MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD IN THE CONVERSATIONS.
EVEN THEN... IT'S UP TO CHANCE... FAN OF THE DAY IS A RANDOM CHOICE.

WE CONTINUE OUR DAY TRIP DESTINATION SERIES IN MACON AT THE GEORGIA SPORTS HALL OF FAME.
400 GEORGIA ATHLETES ARE MEMBERS OF THE HALL OF FAME.
A VISIT TO THE MUSEUM OFFERS A PEEK INSIDE THE GREAT PLAYERS OF THE PEACH STATE.
COLLEGE... OLYMPIC... AND PROFESSIONAL ATHLETES ARE ALL SHOWCASED.
THERE IS EVEN AN INTERACTIVE WING WHERE YOU CAN TEST YOUR DRIVING AND SHOOTING SKILLS.
SENIOR CURATOR BENJAMIN BAUGHMAN EXPLAINS HOW ONE BECOMES AN INDUCTEE.
Benjamin Baughman, Senior Curator: " Played for a sports team in Georgia if you went to college and played sports in Georgia or profesionally in Georgia or you're from here that helps as well and then you have to be very exceptional in some kind of sport win championships."
THE GEORGIA SPORTS HALL OF FAME IS OPEN TUESDAY THROUGH SATURDAY FROM NINE TO SIX.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE HALL OF FAME VISIT OUR WEBSITE 13WMAZ-DOT COM AND LOOK FOR THE DAY TRIP DESTINATION STORY.

THANKS FOR JOINING US.... FIRST MORNIN COMES YOUR WAY AT 5 A-M.
THE NEWS IS ALWAYS ON AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.
ON LETTERMAN TONIGHT: ACTRESS EMMA STONE AND BAND BLINK 182.
HAVE A SAFE NIGHT EVERYONE.

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